Chevron posts $725-million first-quarter loss

Chevron Corp. posted a first-quarter loss of $725 million compared with earnings of $2.6 billion in first-quarter 2015. Foreign currency effects decreased earnings in the quarter by $319 million compared with an increase of $580 million a year earlier.

Capital and exploratory expenditures in the quarter were $6.5 billion compared with $8.6 billion in the corresponding 2015 period. The amounts included $791 million in this year’s first quarter and $730 million in first-quarter 2015 for the company’s share of expenditures by affiliates, which did not require cash outlays by the company. Expenditures for upstream represented 92% of the companywide total in this year’s first quarter.

Worldwide net production by the company was 2.67 million boe/d compared with 2.68 million boe/d a year earlier. Production increases from project ramp-ups in the US, Nigeria, and other areas, and production entitlement effects in several locations, were offset by the Partitioned Zone shut-in and normal field declines, Chevron says.

Upstream losses

US upstream operations in the first quarter incurred a loss of $850 million compared with a loss of $460 million from a year earlier. The loss was due to lower crude oil and natural gas realizations, partially offset by lower operating expenses.

Net production of 701,000 boe/d in the US was up 2,000 boe/d from a year earlier. Production increases due to project ramp-ups in the Gulf of Mexico, the Marcellus shale, and the Permian basin were mostly offset by maintenance-related downtime in the Gulf of Mexico, normal field declines, and the effect of asset sales.

International upstream operations in the quarter incurred a loss of $609 million compared with earnings of $2.02 billion a year earlier. This was due to lower crude oil and natural gas realizations, the absence of a first-quarter 2015 reduction in statutory tax rates in the UK, and lower gains on asset sales, Chevron says.

Partially offsetting these effects were higher liftings and lower exploration expenses. Foreign currency effects decreased earnings by $298 million in the 2016 quarter compared with an increase of $522 million a year earlier.

International net production of 1.97 million boe/d decreased 17,000 boe/d from a year ago. Production increases from project ramp-ups in Nigeria and other areas, and production entitlement effects in several locations, were more than offset by the Partitioned Zone shut-in and normal field declines.

Downstream earnings

US downstream operations in the first quarter earned $247 million compared with earnings of $706 million a year earlier. The decrease was primarily due to lower margins on refined products, an asset impairment, higher operating expenses primarily due to planned turnaround activity in this year’s first quarter, and lower earnings from the 50%-owned Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. LLC.

US refinery crude oil input in the quarter increased 4% to 957,000 b/d from the year-ago period.

International downstream operations in the first quarter earned $488 million compared with $717 million a year earlier. The decrease was primarily due to lower margins on refined product sales, partially offset by lower operating expenses and a favorable change in effects on derivative instruments.

Foreign currency effects decreased international downstream earnings by $48 million in the quarter, compared with an increase of $54 million a year earlier.

International refinery crude oil input of 795,000 b/d increased 13,000 b/d from the year-ago period, mainly due to lower turnaround activity, partially offset by the divestment of Caltex Australia Ltd.

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