From Chevron, “Chevron Announces First Oil from Tahiti Field in Gulf of Mexico“:
SAN RAMON, Calif., May 6, 2009 – Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX) has announced that it has started crude oil production from its Tahiti Field, the deepest producing field in the Gulf of Mexico. First oil from Tahiti was achieved on May 5, 2009. Daily production is expected to ramp up to approximately 125,000 barrels of crude oil and 70 million cubic feet of natural gas before the end of the year.
The Tahiti Field is one of the largest in the Gulf of Mexico. It was discovered in 2002 and is estimated to contain total recoverable resources of 400 to 500 million oil-equivalent barrels. The total cost for the first phase of the project is $2.7 billion and represents one of 40 projects in which Chevron’s share of the investment is over $1 billion.
Seven years and billions of dollars after discovery of the field, oil!
Good think Chevron makes money. Although not as much as last year. From the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Chevron reported its worst quarterly performance in five years on Friday, as lower oil prices and a fierce global recession cut company’s profits by 64 percent. The $1.84 billion (92 cents per share) in first quarter profits contrasted to the $5.17 billion a year previously ($2.48 a share).
The lower earnings are an industrywide phenomenon caused by dramatically lower prices for natural gas and oil and lower refinery margins. See API news release.
Investments continue, however. Again, from the Chronicle:
[In] spite of relatively low oil prices, the company spent more money finding and developing new fields during the first quarter of this year than it did a year earlier. Exploration and capital expenses totaled $6.5 billion in the first three months of this year, compared to $5.1 billion during the same period last year.
“Long term, investing all the way through the cycle should help,” said Allen Good, an analyst with the Morningstar market research firm. “They don’t go crazy at $150 oil, and they don’t turn off the taps at $50.”