Chevron has earned its stripes as the #2 integrated oil company in the US, behind Exxon Mobil. It has proved reserves of 11.2 billion barrels of oil equivalent and a daily production of 2.7 million barrels of oil equivalent, and it also owns interests in chemicals, mining, pipeline, and power production businesses. The company, which is restructuring its refinery and retail businesses to cut costs, owns or has stakes in 8,170 gas stations in the US that operate under the Chevron and Texaco brands. Outside the US it owns or has stakes in 9,660 gas stations. Chevron also owns 50% of chemicals concern Chevron Phillips Chemical. In a major move, in 2011 Chevron acquired Atlas Energy in a $4.3 billion deal.
The acquisition is part the company's strategy of finding new reserves to replace reserves lost from declining fields. It also marks Chevron's move to become a major player in the prolific Marcellus Shale play in Pennsylvania, where a number of majors are seeking to cash in on the improved drilling technology that has made the exploitation of unconventional gas finds more commercially viable. The purchase gives Chevron Atlas Energy's 850 billion cu. ft. of proved natural gas reserves and 80 million cu. ft. of daily natural gas production. It also complements Chevron's earlier acquisitions of shale gas assets in Canada, Poland, and Romania, as well as its purchase of an additional 228,000 acres in the Marcellus Shale from Chief Oil & Gas LLC and Tug Hill, Inc. (The acquisitions added up to 5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas resources to Chevron's existing Marcellus Shale operations.)
In 2010 the company began to cut its US refining and marketing business staff by 20%, and as part of this realignment, it sold its 23% stake in Colonial Pipeline to a KKR affiliate. In 2011 it also sold its Chevron Ltd. UK unit, which operates the Pembroke refinery, to Valero for $730 million. In addition Valero agreed to pay more that $1 billion for other Chevron Ltd. assets, including 1,000 gas stations. That year Chevron also sold its fuels marketing and aviation businesses in 16 countries in the Caribbean and Latin America and some marketing businesses in five African countries.
An earlier chapter of Chevron's history reemerged in 2011 when the company was slapped with a bill for $18 billion in fines and charges by a court in Ecuador regarding environmental damages allegedly caused by Texaco (acquired in 2001) in the 1970s and 1980s. Chevron challenged the findings as illegitimate and unenforceable.
The rebounding global economy and higher commodity prices and demand saw Chevron's revenues jump significantly in 2010. Robust oil prices lifted the company's performance even higher in 2011, with revenues going up by 24% and net income by 41%.
The global recession, low commodities prices, and weak demand for oil and gas caused the company's revenues to plummet in 2009, prompting Chevron to accelerate its strategy of selling some of its global fuel marketing businesses to reduce costs and free up cash for exploration and production projects. – less