March 3, 2021

Chevron Helped by Oil Prices and Better Refinery Margins

Chevron, the second-largest American oil company, had a 43 percent jump in quarterly profit, beating estimates as high oil prices and increased refinery margins offset weaker output.

The numbers released on Friday were the latest in a string of huge profits from the industry, which got a lift from the highest oil prices in nearly three years. Exxon Mobil, the country’s largest oil company, and Royal Dutch Shell earlier in the week reported profits that also benefited from acquisitions and shifts into new projects.

Chevron’s profit rose to $7.7 billion, or $3.85 a share, from $5.4 billion, or $2.70 a share, a year earlier. Analysts had expected $3.56 a share, according to Thomson Reuters. Revenue rose 30 percent to $69 billion.

Chevron reported 2.69 million barrels per day of oil-equivalent output, compared with 2.75 million a year-ago.

Chevron trimmed its 2011 production forecast to 2.76 million barrels per day because of a slower acceleration of its Perdido project in the Gulf of Mexico and a pipeline problem in Thailand. Chevron had strived for 2.79 million barrels per day, or 1 percent growth.

“The full-year production impact of these two items is about 30,000 barrels per day and they are approximately split between the two,” said George Kirkland, Chevron’s vice chairman and executive vice president for upstream and gas.

The company stuck to its 2011-2014 average annual production growth target of 1 percent, and 4 to 5 percent for 2014-2017.

On Thursday, Exxon reported a 41 percent rise in quarterly profit, missing forecasts.

Exxon has pushed into natural gas, but Chevron has made more deliberate moves with two deals in the Marcellus shale in the last year.

Though some operators have expressed frustration at the pace of permitting in the Gulf of Mexico, Mr. Kirkland said Chevron’s near-term drilling program was on track as two deepwater rigs would soon join the three working there now.

Shares of Chevron were down $1.01 to $104.02.

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