Chevron Budgets $19.6 Billion in Exploration for 2007

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Chevron Budgets $19.6 Billion in Exploration for 2007

SAN RAMON, Calif. -- Chevron Corp. increased capital and exploration spending by 20 percent in its 2007 budget to a record $19.6 billion, from $16 billion last year.

"Our 2007 capital and exploratory program is a record level of investment by our company," said chairman and CEO Dave O'Reilly. "About 75 percent of next year's budget is for oil and gas exploration and production projects worldwide."

An additional 20 percent is dedicated to the company's global refining, marketing and transportation businesses which manufacture and sell gasoline, clean diesel fuel, biofuels and other refined products, O'Reilly stated. Of the almost $20 billion, $6.7 billion will be spent inside the U.S.

The increase in funds shows the impact of numerous large, long-term development projects at their most expensive stages of production, the company stated. "Our long range focus in capital discipline in executing our excellent project queue is critical in this environment," O'Reilly added.

Of the $19.6 billion, $4 billion will go to U.S. upstream investments and $1.6 billion will fund U.S. downstream business. Chemicals and other projects will see $1.6 billion.

For its upstream business, Chevron will expand on its existing projects in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and western Africa. "Our upstream investments are aimed at finding and developing oil and gas resources to increase production and help supply the energy needs of world markets," said George Kirkland, Chevron's executive vice president of upstream and gas. Within the U.S., money will be spent on deepwater exploration and development at the company's Tahiti, Great White Perdido, Blind Faith and Jack projects.

Downstream funding will focus on the production of cleaner, more sophisticated fuels. Within the U.S., refineries in Mississippi and California will be upgraded, along with the construction of LNG tankers and gas-to-liquid facilities, which will help the company support its natural gas resources outside of the country.