Chevron records highest profit in eight years

Chevron, one of the largest fossil fuel companies in the world, made its highest quarterly profit in eight years as oil and gas prices surged.

The timing of the announcement was a bit awkward as US politicians only just took big oil execs to task over their companies’ roles in downplaying the threat of global warming in favour of a less sudden divestment away from fossil fuels.

A key reason for Chevron’s gains was the raised levels of demand that ensued as a result of economies emerging from the pandemic.

Compared to a loss of $207m a year ago, Chevron made $6.11bn this quarter, as the price of oil has nearly doubled when comparing the two time periods, while gas produced in America sold for close to three times as much.

Cash flow from operations, a measure taken seriously by Chevron, was $8.5 billion in the quarter, "the best ever reported by the company,” Chief Executive Michael Wirth said.

Chevron’s overall production levels increased as the firm acquired Noble Energy, according to Wirth, despite maintenance issues still causing slowdowns.

Crude prices moved above $80 a barrel recently while natural gas prices reached record highs across the world.

Chevron confirmed its focus will be on reducing its debt levels and providing a dividend to shareholders rather than seeking to invest in order to increase its output. Despite showdown talks between US lawmakers and oil execs, president Biden has encouraged Chevron and others to raise production to help lower fuel prices.

The Chevron share price is up by 1% during the afternoon session on Friday.

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