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Chevron says first-quarter earnings to be sharply lower

Like others in its industry, the nation's second-largest oil company has struggled with wide swings in crude prices.

April 10, 2009|Associated Press

NEW YORK — Chevron Corp. said Thursday that its earnings would be sharply lower for the first quarter because of falling oil and natural gas prices.

Like others in its industry, Chevron, the nation's second-largest oil company, has struggled with wide swings in crude prices. Benchmark crude rose to more than $147 a barrel last year before plunging below $35 this year.

Chevron's first-quarter results will include charges of about $100 million in write-offs related to exploration. It also expects gains of about $350 million from sales of its fuels-marketing business in Brazil and Nigeria.

The San Ramon, Calif., company also said its quarterly after-tax charges for corporate and other activities would range between $250 million and $350 million.

During January and February, production of oil and natural gas rose to 660,000 barrels a day, up from 619,000 barrels in the fourth quarter. Chevron said the jump in production was primarily due to the restoration of operations in the Gulf of Mexico after last year's hurricanes.

The company issued the guidance to summarize market conditions for the first three months of the year. It didn't provide any specific earnings projections for the quarter.

The company's shares rose 75 cents Thursday to $69.23.

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