Chevron: Upstream Project Review

By Eric Fox | March 16, 2011 AAA

Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) has dozens of upstream oil and gas projects in the development or planning stage and will spend billions on these to reach the production growth goals established by the company. The company is active in Australia, Africa, the Gulf of Mexico and other areas around the world.

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Production Growth
Chevron reported production in 2010 of 2.76 million barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) per day, and the company hopes that the huge investments it has made will increase production to 3.3 million BOE per day by 2017.

In 2011, Chevron has budgeted $26 billion in capital spending, with $22.6 billion for its upstream segment, with the funds allocated to dozens of projects that the company has all over the world. The Asia Pacific region is a particular focus for Chevron and the company will spend 35% of its 2011 budget here.

Australia
Chevron has two large natural gas projects under construction or being planned in Australia. The Gorgon and Wheatstone projects, when completed, will have peak production capacity of approximately 710,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. (For related reading, see Natural Gas Industry: An Investment Guide.)

The Gorgon project is operated by Chevron and is under construction with first production expected in 2014. The company is developing multiple offshore natural gas fields and then will deliver this natural gas to a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility being built on Barrow Island off the coast of Australia. The LNG will then be shipped to various countries in Asia. Chevron estimates peak capacity of 450,000 BOE per day from this project.

The Wheatstone project is similar to Gorgon, although smaller in scope, and also involves the development of offshore natural gas fields and the construction of a LNG facility. The project is still in the planning stage by Chevron but if approved will see first production in 2016, and peak capacity of 260,000 BOE per day.

North America
In North America, Chevron is active in the Gulf of Mexico and is developing several offshore discoveries into the Lower Tertiary trend including the Jack and St. Malo fields. The first phase of the project here will cost approximately $7.5 billion and have peak production of 170,000 BOE per day, with first production in 2014. Chevron's partners at St. Malo include Petrobras (NYSE:PBR), Eni (NYSE:E), Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) and Statoil ASA (NYSE:STO). Chevron also has the Big Foot project in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, which will go on line in 2014 with peak production of 79,000 BOE per day.

Brazil
In Brazil, Chevron owns a 37.5% interest in the Papa Terra project located in the Campos Basin. The company is involved in this heavy oil project with Petrobras, and expects first production in 2013, and an eventual peak production of 140,000 BOE per day.

Bottom Line
Chevron has assembled a large inventory of upstream oil and natural gas projects that it can use to grow production to meet its target levels promised to investors. These areas are distributed across many different regions.

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