November 12, 2008 / 7:46 PM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 3-Chevron starts Blind Faith oil production

(Adds production figures for Blind Faith)

NEW YORK, Nov 12 (Reuters) - Chevron Corp’s (CVX.N) Blind Faith project in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico began operations on Wednesday, Chief Executive David O’Reilly said.

Initial production from Blind Faith, which was delayed earlier this year because of problems related to its moorings, is expected to be about 30,000 barrels of oil and 30 million cubic feet of gas per day.

Over the next three months, daily production is expected to grow to about 65,000 barrels of crude oil and 55 million cubic feet of natural gas.

O’Reilly, in comments to reporters after a speech at the Council of Foreign Relations, declined to give details about the start-up.

The company will announce its planned spending for 2009 in December, and O’Reilly declined to discuss what the amount would be.

“I’m not going to try to predict it. But I think generally we’re committed to continuing to invest. We have a very good, strong queue of projects,” he said in response to a question on whether the sharp drop oil and gas prices since July would affect its plans.

“We have the wherewithal and the financial strength to invest throughout the cycle .... We take a long-term view in our capital planning and we’re not swayed by the near-term ups and downs in the market,” he said.

In addition to Blind Faith, Chevron expects its Tahiti project in the Gulf of Mexico to begin operations in the third quarter of 2009.

Chevron holds a 75 percent working interest in Blind Faith and is the operator, while Anadarko Petroleum Corp (APC.N) holds the remaining 25 percent in the project. (Reporting by Matt Daily and Euan Rocha, editing by Richard Chang and Tim Dobbyn)

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