Chevron projects fourth quarter profit increases

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Chevron said it expects its fourth-quarter profit to rise compared with the previous quarter, benefiting from gains on assets and increased U.S. and international production. The second-largest U.S. oil company by market value said results from its exploration-and-production business are expected to improve, quarter-over-quarter, due in part to gains of $1.4 billion on an asset exchange in Australia, compared with a gain of $600 million in the third quarter.

Results from Chevron's refining, marketing and chemical operations are expected to grow from the third quarter, because of beneficial timing, despite a significant decline in refining margins. Chevron's U.S. production in the first two months of the quarter reached about 676,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day, up 2.3% from a year ago and 6.1% higher than the third quarter, as production was restored in the Gulf of Mexico following disruptions from Hurricane Isaac.

The average realized price for crude oil from the company's U.S. fields was $97.61 a barrel on average, down from $105.37 a year earlier, and $97.34 in the previous quarter. Average international output reached about 2 million barrels of oil equivalent a day, up 0.3% from a year ago and 6% from the previous quarter, absent planned maintenance in Kazakhstan and the U.K.

International liquid realized prices averaged $100.06 per barrel, down 1.3% from a year earlier and up 1.9% from the third quarter. International natural gas prices averaged $5.94 per thousand cubic feet, up 7% from a year ago and down 1.5% from the prior quarter. The company said that U.S. and international refining margins decreased sharply compared with the third quarter.

Chevron (CVX : NYSE : US$111.73), Net Change: 1.26, % Change: 1.14%, Volume: 5,450,985

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