Chevron (NYSE:CVX) is progressing towards the company's goal of 20% production growth over the next six years, and plans to achieve this growth through the successful completion of a number of major long-term projects across its oil and gas portfolio.

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Production Goal
Chevron is the second largest United States based integrated oil and gas company, with 2011 production of 2.7 million BOE per day and proved reserves of 11.2 billion BOE. The company is targeting production of 3.3 million BOE per day by 2017.

Capital Budget
In 2012, Chevron will spend $28.5 billion to help achieve this production goal, with the majority of the funds spent on major upstream capital projects. Over the next six years, Chevron will work on nearly 100 oil and gas projects, with 65% of the company's capital budget spent on deepwater and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) projects. (For related reading, see A Guide To Investing In Oil Markets.)

Deepwater Projects
Chevron has a deep inventory of deepwater oil and gas projects planned through 2017, with several slated to start up production in 2012. The company estimates that these projects and others will grow deepwater production to 470,000 BOE per day by 2017.

Chevron is involved on a non-operated basis in the development of the Usan Field located offshore Nigeria. The project started up production in February 2012 and is expected to have peak gross capacity of 180,000 barrels of oil per day. Total (NYSE:TOT) is the operator of the Usan Development, and Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) and Nexen (NYSE:NXY) also have an interest in this project.

Another Nigerian offshore project is at the Agbami Field, where production started up in 2008. Chevron has a 10-well program set for this field and hopes to get production above peak levels of 250,000 barrels of oil per day. The cost of Phase 2 at the Agbami field is estimated at $1.9 billion.

Chevron is also working on the development of Jack/St. Malo, Big Foot and Tubular Bells projects in the deepwater and expects these areas to add to growth starting in 2014.

Liquefied Natural Gas
Chevron will also generate additional production growth through the development of several LNG projects, and estimates that production from this area will increase to 460,000 BOE per day by 2017.

In Angola, Chevron has an LNG project set to start up in the second quarter of 2012, and expects this project to achieve peak capacity of 175,000 BOE per day.

Chevron's largest LNG projects are in Australia, where the company is working on the Gorgon and Wheatstone projects. These two LNG projects, which are set to start up in 2014 and 2016, respectively, will handle natural gas from 13 discoveries by Chevron. The company is continuing to explore in Australia and has four well planned in various areas in 2012.

Unconventional Plays
Chevron is also involved in several unconventional oil and gas plays, and expects to more than triple production from these areas, reaching production of 175,000 BOE per day by 2017. The company has acreage exposed to 13 different unconventional plays in the United States, and has more prospective areas to explore in its international portfolio. These include plays in Eastern Europe, Argentina and China. (For related reading, see A Natural Gas Primer.)

The Bottom Line
Chevron Corporation hopes to refute the conventional wisdom that large integrated oil and gas companies can't grow production, and has adopted a 20% growth target. The company is pursuing deepwater, LNG, unconventional plays and other areas as part of this growth program.

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At the time of writing, Eric Fox did not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article.

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