Nov. 01--SAN RAMON -- Chevron's profits sagged because of lower margins from its refineries, but oil and gas production increased, although it remained below the company's production targets, the energy giant reported Friday.
During the third quarter that ended Sept. 30, Chevron earned $4.95 billion, or $2.57 a share. The oil company's profits were down 5.7 percent from the year-ago quarter, when Chevron earned $5.25 billion.
Profits from Chevron's downstream units, which include refinery and retail operations, totaled $380 million in the third quarter, down 44.8 percent from a year ago.
Upstream operations, which include exploration, development and production, totaled $5.09 billion in the quarter, down 0.9 percent from the year-ago third quarter.
"We continue to make good progress on our major capital projects," Chevron CEO John Watson said in a prepared release. "Construction continues, and important milestones are being reached, on our Gorgon and Wheatstone LNG projects in Australia."
San Ramon-based Chevron produced the equivalent of 2.59 barrels of oil per day from its oil and natural gas fields during the July-September period, up 2.8 percent from the year-ago quarter. However, that was 2.3 percent below the company's goal of 2.65 million barrels a day.
Earlier this year, Chevron said it was on target to deliver, by 2017, production of 3.3 million barrels a day, a roughly 25 percent increase from current output.
"Important interim construction goals have been recently reached for our Jack/St. Malo and Big Foot deepwater projects in the Gulf of Mexico, in preparation for their project start-ups scheduled for late 2014," Watson said. "We are also moving forward on the development of our liquids-rich unconventional properties in the United States."
Contact George Avalos at 408-859-5167. twitter.com/georgeavalos
(c)2013 the Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, Calif.)
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Original headline: Chevron profits fall on weaker refinery profits, but says its oil and gas production is rising
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