10 April 2007

Chevron: Bay area company of the year

From the San Francisco Chronicle.
Chevron is devoting about 39 percent of its exploration and development budget to North America, which includes the gulf as well as projects in Alaska and the waters off Newfoundland. But the company also is betting heavily on offshore oil and gas fields near Angola, Australia and Thailand. About 25 percent of the company's exploration money goes to Africa, 19 percent to Asia and the Pacific.

Those areas all show great promise. They're also open to foreign investment. Much of the world isn't, at least not on terms Chevron and other international oil companies might like. Governments from Venezuela to Newfoundland have become more assertive about the deals they're willing to make with Big Oil, often demanding control over joint ventures and a far higher cut of the profit than they used to. National oil companies, such as Saudi Aramco or the National Iranian Oil Co., control the vast majority of the world's reserves, and they see less reason to seek Chevron's help in developing their resources.

There's an interesting Chronicle podcast here.

Note the list of projects where Chevron is interested in developing the short- to medium-term. Gulf of Mexico, Thailand, Tenghiz, Australia, West Africa.

Hebron is not there.

Check the example of bringing a project on stream.

Tahiti, a major field in the Gulf of Mexico. From idea to production: 14 years. From discovery to production: six years.

Compare that to Hebron.

Actually it isn't bad considering that the field became commercially viable in the same time frame. The only thing that knocked Hebron off the rails - the only thing - was the provincial government.

Listen carefully to the discussion of economics of the oil business. More people in Newfoundland and Labrador - especially politicians - need to pay attention.