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Chevron Returns Record Cash to Investors as Oil and Gas Output Hits New High

Chevron (NYSE: CVX) boosted cash returns to shareholders to a record and set annual oil and gas production records in 2023, as it reported its second-highest yearly earnings last year and fourth-quarter profits beating consensus estimates.

Chevron reported on Friday adjusted earnings of $6.5 billion, or $3.45 per share, for the fourth quarter 2023, compared to adjusted earnings of $7.9 billion, or $4.09 per share for the same period of 2022.

Reported earnings declined compared to last year primarily due to lower upstream realizations, losses from decommissioning obligations for previously sold assets in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, higher U.S. upstream impairment charges mainly in California, and lower margins on refined product sales, the supermajor said, confirming a warning from January that it would take an up to $4 billion impairment in Q4. 

Adjusted earnings, however, beat analyst estimates as adjusted EPS of $3.45 easily topped the $3.19 consensus forecast.

For full-year 2023, Chevron’s worldwide and U.S. net oil-equivalent production set annual records. Worldwide production rose by 4% from a year ago, primarily due to the acquisition of PDC Energy and 10% annual growth in the Permian Basin production.

U.S. net oil-equivalent production in Q4 jumped by 34% from the fourth quarter of 2022, setting a new quarterly record, primarily due to higher production in the Permian Basin and the acquisition of PDC, which added 266,000 oil equivalent barrels per day during the quarter.

“In 2023, we returned more cash to shareholders and produced more oil and natural gas than any year in the company’s history,” Chevron’s chairman and CEO Mike Wirth said.

Cash returned to shareholders totaled more than $26 billion for the year, up by 18% from the previous year’s record total.

This year, Chevron targets another 10% increase in its Permian production.

“We are in the best parts of the Permian,” CFO Pierre Breber told Bloomberg in an interview.


“Our growth is higher likely than the basin average but it is representative of our activity level and the activity level of our partners,” Breber added.

Chevron joins ExxonMobil and Shell in reporting better-than-expected earnings for Q4 and 2023, although profits are off the all-time highs from 2022.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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