By Braden Reddall
Jan 10 Chevron Corp, the second-largest
U.S. oil company, said on Thursday its fourth-quarter profit
would be "notably higher" than the previous quarter as oil and
gas output bounced back and it booked a $1.4 billion gain on an
Chevron is also preparing to bring its refinery in Richmond,
California, back to full production this quarter, after the
crude unit of the 245,000-barrels-per-day plant was badly
damaged in an August fire.
The impact was clear as Chevron's average U.S. refining
input of 702,000 bpd in October and November was down 226,000
bpd from the second quarter - the last period when Richmond was
fully running throughout. The San Francisco Chronicle said this
week that Chevron aims to restart the crude unit in February.
On the upstream side, Chevron's average U.S. production of
oil and gas from wells rose to 676,000 bpd in October and
November, compared with a hurricane-depressed average of 637,000
bpd for the third quarter.
Worldwide, Chevron's output reached its highest since
mid-2011. The company produced the oil equivalent of 2.66
million bpd in the first two months of the quarter, up from an
average 2.52 million in the third quarter - when it was curbed
by maintenance in the UK and Kazakhstan.
Shares of Chevron rose 0.8 percent to $111.33 in after-hours
trading, when the company's quarterly interim update was
released, after closing up 0.8 percent in the regular session.
Before the update, analysts had expected a net profit of
$3.00 per share for the fourth quarter, according to Thomson
Reuters I/B/E/S, up from $2.57 in the third quarter and $2.58 in
the fourth quarter a year before.
Chevron got no help from oil prices in the quarter, with an
average Brent oil price of $110 per barrel that was
basically the same as the previous quarter and up just $1 per
barrel from a year before.
The $1.4 billion gain stemmed from a deal with Royal Dutch
Shell Plc, announced in August, in which Shell swapped
interests in two fields off Australia for Chevron's holdings in
the Browse liquefied natural gas project.