BY BEN LEFEBVRE
SAN RAMON -- Chevron Corp said that its oil and gas business
activity is set for a year over year drop in the second quarter
as lower crude prices and equipment maintenance takes a toll.
In an interim earnings statement, Chevron, the second
largest United States oil company in market value after Exxon
Mobil Corp, reported steep drops in the average prices it gets
for its oil production. United States natural gas prices were
up, but Chevron's production is tilted towards crude.
Chevron's interim report, generally considered an earnings
bellwether for the United States oil and gas industry, shows
that Exxon and other producers might have been stung by the
steep drop in oil prices in April amid concerns about the slow
Chevron and other big oil companies are slated to report
full 2Q results in August.
Overall, Chevron produced 2.57 MMbpd of oil and natural gas
in April and May, down 2.1% from its average production rate in
the full second quarter of 2012. The report compares the first
two months of the current quarter to the entire second quarter
of 2012 and all of the first quarter of 2013.
Production was flat in the United States, but output in its
international operations during April and May was 1.91 MMbpd,
down 2.8% from the year before because of maintenance work in Kazakhstan,
Australia and Nigeria. Demand for oil and gas also fell in
Thailand, Chevron said.
Chevron's oil refining business results were
mixed. United States gasoline sales for the entire quarter rose
0.4% year over year to 523 Mbpd. Chevron's refineries processed
1.61 MMbpd, down from 1.8 MMbpd in the second quarter of 2012.
United States refining throughput increased 183
MMbpd after the company ratcheted up production at its
Richmond, refinery that had been damaged by a
fire in August 2012 and finished repairs at its Mississippi refinery.
Dow Jones Newswires