Chevron Corp outlined a plan to expand oil and gas production through 2025, but without spending significantly more, and pledged to limit the pace of growth of its carbon emissions.
Falling energy demand due to pandemic-driven lockdowns sent the industry into a tailspin in 2020 and led Chevron to a $5.54 billion annual loss, its first since 2016.
Investors have been pressuring Chevron and other oil companies to hold spending flat and reduce emissions that contribute to climate change. Competitors Royal Dutch Shell, BP Plc and Exxon Mobil have vowed to hold output flat or allow it to decline to meet climate or financial goals.
Chief Executive Officer Michael Wirth told analysts in a presentation that Chevron can achieve its output and carbon goals regardless of oil price fluctuations.
“We’re not betting on higher prices to bail us out,” he said in an apparent dig at Exxon and others counting on oil’s rebound to cover dividends and debt repayments. By 2025, Chevron can more than double its return on capital employed, a measure of how efficiently a company invests, to more than 10%.
Still, some analysts were unimpressed with the climate and emissions goals, viewing them as too modest. Shares dipped a fraction from a one-year high to $109.50.