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    Chevron posts Q1 profit beat with oil production gains


US oil production that was 35% higher year-on-year offset weaker natural gas prices.

by: Reuters

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Chevron posts Q1 profit beat with oil production gains

 - Oil giant Chevron Corp beat estimates for first-quarter profit on Friday as higher production volumes in the U.S. helped offset a hit from weak natural gas prices and fuel margins.

The second largest U.S. oil producer posted a profit of $5.5 billion in the quarter ended on March 31, down from $6.57 billion, or $3.46 per share from a year ago. Results beat consensus by 2% as recent acquisitions bolstered oil and gas volumes.


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Chevron and Exxon Mobil, which posted first quarter results that missed Wall Street consensus estimates, are feeling the pinch of weak energy prices and fuels margins that have cooled in the last year. A glut of natural gas and a warmer-than-expected winter slashed natural gas prices, eating into earnings.

"U.S. production was up 35% from a year ago, and we continued to meet major project milestones," CEO Mike Wirth said in a statement.

Chevron said results were sustained by higher production brought by the acquisition of PDC Energy, Inc and sustained strong execution in the Permian and Denver-Julesburg (DJ) Basins. 

Shares fell 1.4% in pre-market trading to $163.35. 

Chevron said first quarter oil and gas production jumped 12%, to 3.34 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd).

Earnings from pumping oil and gas were $5.24 billion, up from $5.16 billion in the same period a year ago. But profits from producing gasoline and chemicals fell sharply, to $783 million from $1.8 billion a year ago. Refining suffered from weaker margins and higher operating expenses, the company said.

Chevron reported adjusted per share profit of $2.93 for the first quarter, beating analysts' consensus estimate of $2.87. 


Late last year, Chevron offered to buy Hess Corp for $53 billion to get a foothold in oil-rich Guyana's lucrative offshore fields. 

The deal, however, has been stalled by a regulatory review and challenged by Exxon Mobil, which claims the right to Hess's Guyana assets. Exxon and partners aim to double production capacity to 1.3 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) by the end of 2027.

Chevron said "the merger with Hess is advancing" and it intends to certify substantial compliance with the Federal Trade Commission's second request in the coming weeks. 

"We remain confident that a preemption right does not apply to this transaction and believe this will be affirmed in arbitration," it said.

Management will provide more details on a conference call at 11 a.m. ET with investors looking for year-ahead guidance and an update on the arbitration case

Chevron shares has underperformed rival Exxon by about 10 percentage points so far this year, amid challenges to its proposed acquisition of Hess. 

(Reporting by Sabrina Valle in Houston and Mrinalika Roy in Bengaluru; editing by Anil D'Silva and Chizu Nomiyama)