Chevron profits dip 4% on lower oil prices

Chevron HQ, downtown, Houston28 April 2013 – US supermajor Chevron has reported a 4% drop in quarterly profits to $6.2 billion in a slip put down to lower oil prices.

Revenue declined 8.5% for the San Ramon, California-headquartered giant to $54 billion in the first quarter of 2013 from $59 billion this time last year.

Chevron’s average realised oil price for crude and natural gas liquids dropped to $94 in the past three months compared to $102 in the same period last year.

Chief executive John Watson said that Chevron had raised its dividend and was able to “fund major development projects that are the foundation of the company’s future growth in production, earnings and cash flows”.

Production rose to 2.65 million barrels of oil equivalent per day from 2.63 million seen in the first quarter of 2012, with project ramp-ups in the US and Nigeria offset by field declines.

Lower oil prices and higher operating expenses sent quarterly US upstream earnings down to $1.13 billion from $1.52 billion a year earlier.

Chevron’s international upstream earnings were up slightly at $4.78 billion from the year-ago period’s $4.64 billion as lower output was offset by lower exploration and income tax costs as well as favourable exchange rates.

Capital expenditure rose 39% to $8.9 billion from $6.4 billion in the first quarter of 2012.

In the US during the first quarter, Chevron made the Coronado deep-water oil discovery and saw a well at St Malo test at more than 13,000 barrels of oil per day.

In Australia, the supermajor made the Elfin gas discovery, gained Chubu Electric Company as a long-term customer for Wheatstone LNG and acquired two new onshore gas blocks.

The period also saw Total make a final investment decision on the Moho Nord deep-water development in the Republic of Congo, where Chevron holds a 31% stake.
*Bill Lehane, Upstreamonline

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