In the fourth quarter of 2019, Chevron posted a £5 billion loss, which it said was driven by £7.88 billion in write-offs related to its shale gas production, primarily in Appalachia, and deep-water projects in the Gulf of Mexico, it said in a statement. 

The company said it earned £1.13 per share excluding items, down from £1.48 per share a year earlier. 2019′s total earnings slid 80 per cent to £2.21 billion, compared with £11.23 billion in 2018.

Shares slid 3.85 per cent after the company reported £27.53 billion in revenue for the period, which was down 14 per cent year-on-year (hurt by weakness in the company’s upstream division) and missed analyst expectations.

Oil-equivalent production at 3.08 million barrels per day was unchanged year-on-year, although the company said its annual daily production exceeded 3 million barrels a day for the first time.

The company’s upstream operations in the US lost £.5.68 billion in the quarter, down from earnings of £730 million a year earlier. That was primarily due to £7.88 billion in write-offs related to Appalachia and Gulf of Mexico operations, as well as lower crude and natural gas prices.

Chevron said the average sale price per barrel of oil and natural gas liquids was £35.60, a 16 per cent decrease from 2018.

Chairman and CEO Michael Wirth said in the statement: “We paid £6.82 billion in dividends, repurchased £3 billion of shares, funded our capital program and successfully captured several inorganic investment opportunities, all while reducing debt by more than £5.3 billion. Earlier this week, we announced a quarterly dividend increase of £0.076 per share, reinforcing our commitment to growing shareholder returns.”

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3rd February 2020