Chevron Corporation at the weekend reported earnings of $4.9 billion for the fourth quarter of 2013, compared with $7.2 billion in the corresponding period of 2012. The company also said it recorded an increases in oil and gas production from project ramp-ups in the United States and Nigeria , but said these increases were more than offset by normal field declines and lower cost recovery volumes. According to the results, operation sales and other operating revenues in the fourth quarter of 2013 were $54 billion , compared to $56 billion in the preceding year. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Chevron Corporation , Mr. John Watson said global crude oil prices and refining margins were generally lower in 2013 than 2012. "These conditions, as well as lower gains on asset sales and higher expenses, resulted in lower earnings. We continue to have an advantaged portfolio, and we have maintained our industry-leading position in upstream earnings per barrel for the past four years." He added: "Our strong financial position and healthy cash generation in 2013 have allowed us to fund a substantial investment program, add several new resource opportunities and, at the same time, raise shareholder distributions. Major capital projects currently under construction are expected to deliver significant production growth and shareholder value in the years ahead. We also raised the dividend on our common shares for the 26th consecutive year and continued our share repurchase program, both of which underscore our commitment to providing strong shareholder returns." Watson said the company made significant progress on its LNG projects in Australia during the past year, with Gorgon almost 75 percent complete and Wheatstone successfully reaching important construction and LNG marketing milestones. "We expect 2014 will be the peak year for spending on these two projects as we move them closer to first production. Significant progress was also made at two important Gulf of Mexico deepwater projects, Jack/St. Malo and Big Foot. We continued to pursue shale and tight-rock opportunities during 2013," he said. Key achievements included major new investments in the Vaca Muerta Shale in Argentina and the Kitimat LNG Project in Canada , acquisition of additional acreage in the Duvernay Shale in Canada , and securing new shale opportunities in Ukraine and central Australia . Watson commented that the company added approximately 800 million barrels of net oil-equivalent proved reserves in 2013. In upstream sector worldwide, the net oil-equivalent production was 2.58 million barrels per day in the fourth quarter 2013, down from 2.67 million barrels per day in the 2012 fourth quarter. The company said it recorded production increases from project ramp-ups in the United States and Nigeria , which were more than offset by normal field declines and lower cost recovery volumes. The company's average sales price per barrel of crude oil and natural gas liquids was $90 in the fourth quarter 2013, down from $91 a year ago. The average sales price of natural gas was $3.35 per thousand cubic feet, compared with $3.22 in last year's fourth quarter.
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