- Earnings of $1.4 billion; adjusted earnings of $1.7 billion
- Capital spending down 43 percent from prior year
- Cash flow from operations of $4.2 billion
- Free cash flow excluding working capital of $3.4 billion
Chevron Corporation has reported earnings of $1.4 billion ($0.72 per share - diluted) for first quarter 2021, compared with $3.6 billion ($1.93 per share - diluted) in first quarter 2020. Included in the current quarter were pension settlement costs and legal reserves totaling $351 million. Foreign currency effects decreased earnings by $2 million. Adjusted earnings of $1.7 billion ($0.90 per share - diluted) in first quarter 2021 compares to adjusted earnings of $2.5 billion ($1.31 per share - diluted) in first quarter 2020.
“Earnings strengthened primarily due to higher oil prices as the economy recovers,” said Mike Wirth, Chevron’s chairman and chief executive officer. “Results were down from a year ago due in part to ongoing downstream margin and volume effects resulting from the pandemic and the impacts of winter storm Uri.”
“We maintained capital discipline with capital spending down 43 percent from last year,” Wirth added. “We realized cost efficiencies from last year’s restructuring and the integration of Noble Energy.” As a result, free cash flow excluding working capital was $3.4 billion in the first quarter 2021, and the Board approved a 4 percent dividend increase that was announced earlier this week.
“We took action to advance a lower-carbon future by announcing plans with partners to develop carbon negative bioenergy and commercially viable, large-scale businesses in hydrogen,” Wirth continued. The company also invested in developing new technologies for geothermal power, floating offshore wind turbines and green ammonia.
Additionally, the company announced an agreement to acquire all the publicly held common units representing limited partner interests in Noble Midstream Partners LP not already owned by Chevron and its affiliates in exchange for shares of common stock in Chevron. This transaction is expected to close in the second quarter 2021.
Worldwide net oil-equivalent production was 3.12 million barrels per day in first quarter 2021, a decrease of 4 percent from a year ago.
U.S. upstream operations earned $941 million in first quarter 2021, compared with earnings of $241 million a year earlier. The improvement primarily reflected higher crude oil and natural gas realizations.
The company’s average sales price per barrel of crude oil and natural gas liquids was $48 in first quarter 2021, up from $37 a year earlier. The average sales price of natural gas was $2.15 per thousand cubic feet in first quarter 2021, up from $0.60 in last year’s first quarter.
Net oil-equivalent production of 1.08 million barrels per day in first quarter 2021 was up 11,000 barrels per day from a year earlier. The increase was due to 210,000 barrels per day of production from the Noble Energy acquisition, partially offset by a 68,000 barrels per day decrease related to the Appalachian asset sale, weather effects from winter storm Uri and normal field declines. The net liquids component of oil-equivalent production in first quarter 2021 was essentially flat at 802,000 barrels per day, while net natural gas production increased 5 percent to 1.64 billion cubic feet per day, compared to last year’s first quarter.
International upstream operations earned $1.41 billion in first quarter 2021, compared with $2.68 billion a year ago. The decrease in earnings was primarily due to lower sales volumes, the absence of a 2020 gain on the sale of Philippine assets, lower trading results, lower natural gas realizations and lower tax items. These decreases were partly offset by higher crude oil realizations. Foreign currency effects had an unfavorable impact on earnings of $520 million between periods.
The average sales price for crude oil and natural gas liquids in first quarter 2021 was $56 per barrel, up from $43 a year earlier. The average sales price of natural gas was $4.72 per thousand cubic feet in the first quarter, down from $5.66 in last year’s first quarter.
Net oil-equivalent production of 2.05 million barrels per day in first quarter 2021 was down 6 percent from first quarter 2020. Higher production of 138,000 barrels per day from the Noble Energy acquisition and the resumption of production in the Partitioned Zone between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait was more than offset by asset sale-related decreases of 51,000 barrels per day, unfavorable entitlement effects, absence of volumes in Venezuela where the company no longer reports production, Gorgon maintenance impacts, production curtailments and normal field declines. The net liquids component of oil-equivalent production decreased 12 percent to 1.02 million barrels per day in first quarter 2021, while net natural gas production of 6.13 billion cubic feet per day increased 1 percent, compared to last year's first quarter.
CASH FLOW FROM OPERATIONS
Cash flow from operations in the first three months of 2021 was $4.2 billion, compared with $4.7 billion in 2020. Excluding working capital effects, cash flow from operations in the first three months of 2021 was $5.1 billion, compared with $5.8 billion in 2020.
CAPITAL AND EXPLORATORY EXPENDITURES
Capital and exploratory expenditures in the first three months of 2021 were $2.5 billion, compared with $4.4 billion in 2020. The amounts included $678 million in 2021 and $1.2 billion in 2020 for the company’s share of expenditures by affiliates, which did not require cash outlays by the company. Expenditures for upstream represented 84 percent of the company-wide total in 2021.
KeyFacts Energy: Chevron US country profile