CHEVRON BOOKS PROFITS BUT TRIMS SAILS FOR DIFFICULT DAYS AHEAD
Chevron Corporation reported earnings of $3.6 billion for first quarter 2020, compared with earnings of $2.6 billion in the first quarter 2019. Included in the current quarter was a gain of $240 million associated with the sale of upstream assets in the Philippines and favorable tax items totaling $440 million attributable to international upstream. Foreign currency effects increased earnings in the first quarter 2020 by $514 million.
Worldwide net oil-equivalent production was 3.24 million barrels per day in first quarter 2020, an increase of over 6 percent from a year ago, and a new quarterly record.
U.S. upstream operations earned $241 million in first quarter 2020, compared with earnings of $748 million a year earlier. The decrease was primarily due to lower crude oil and natural gas realizations and higher depreciation expense, partially offset by higher crude oil and natural gas production.
“First quarter earnings were up from a year ago,” said Michael K. Wirth, Chevron’s chairman of the board and chief executive officer, “driven by downstream margins and increased Permian production. However, commodity prices fell significantly in March and the weakness continued into the second quarter, primarily due to reduced demand resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.” Financial results in future periods are expected to be depressed as long as current market conditions persist. “Chevron is responding to these unprecedented challenges by making changes to what we control, and with a commitment to protect the long-term health and value of the company,” Wirth added. “Our company entered this crisis well positioned with a strong balance sheet, flexible capital program and low breakeven price. These advantages will be important as we respond to challenging market conditions.”
Chevron is further reducing its 2020 capital expenditure guidance by up to $2 billion to $14 billion. In addition, the company estimates that 2020 operating costs will decrease by $1 billion. This follows the previously announced suspension of share repurchases and the completion of additional asset sales.
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