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CHEVRON REPORTS STRONG FIRST QUARTER EARNINGS

 SAN FRANCISCO, April 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CHV) today reported first quarter earnings of $501 million, up 47 percent from the $340 million earned in the first quarter of 1992, before the cumulative effect of changes in two accounting principles. Because of fewer shares outstanding in 1993, earnings per share increased even more -- up 56 percent to $1.54 from $0.99.
 As previously announced, the company restated its 1992 first quarter income to reflect the fourth quarter adoption, effective January 1, 1992, of new accounting standards for income taxes and postretirement benefits other than pensions. The cumulative effect of these changes was a charge to income of $641 million, resulting in a net loss of $301 million reported for the first quarter of 1992.
 "Our results were considerably better than a year ago," commented Board Chairman and CEO Ken Derr. "The major factor in our earnings gain was the continued reduction in our operating costs, reflecting the success of our cost-cutting and reorganization programs that we began last year. In addition, higher crude oil and U.S. natural gas prices and improved U.S. refined product sales margins all contributed to the year-to-year increase."
 Derr continued, "Operating, general and administrative expenses, after adjusting for special items, declined over $200 million, or 11 percent, from the first quarter of last year. We achieved this reduction with no significant change in our worldwide production and sales volumes. Operating costs for the past six months have averaged $6.69 per barrel, a reduction of $0.72 from 1991 levels, and well ahead of our original goal of a $0.50 per barrel reduction by mid-year 1993."
 Special items in the prior-year first quarter increased earnings $87 million; the net effect of special items on 1993 earnings was not material.
 Total revenues for the quarter were $9.8 billion, compared with $9.7 billion in the prior-year quarter.
 Foreign exchange losses were $4 million, compared with foreign exchange gains of $22 million in the 1992 first quarter.
 Exploration and Production
 U.S. exploration and production operations earned $195 million, up sharply from $53 million earned in the prior-year first quarter.
 Earnings improved on higher crude oil and natural gas prices and significantly reduced production expenses, partially offset by lower production volumes. Average crude oil prices increased $1.18 per barrel to $15.63; average natural gas prices increased $0.45 per thousand cubic feet to $1.86. Production expenses declined over $100 million, or about $.60 per equivalent barrel.
 Liquids production volumes fell 14 percent and natural gas production was 16 percent lower than in the prior-year quarter, primarily due to 1992
producing property dispositions. Exploration expenses declined on lower activity, and depreciation expense declined in line with lower production.
 The 1993 first quarter included an asset write-off of $12 million; the 1992 quarter included asset sale gains of $8 million.
 International exploration and production earnings were $165 million compared with $192 million earned in the first quarter of 1992.
 Results in 1993 benefited from higher crude oil prices, higher production volumes and lower exploration expenses. Also favorable prior year tax adjustments in Canada added $19 million to first quarter 1993 earnings. However, in the 1992 first quarter, earnings benefited $31 million from an asset sale gain and also from favorable income tax adjustments. The 1993 quarter included $4 million of foreign exchange gains compared with gains of $19 million in the first quarter of last year.
 Average daily liquids production increased 5 percent. Increases in Papua New Guinea, which came on stream in mid-1992, and in Nigeria and Indonesia were partially offset by production declines in Canada and the North Sea.
 Refining and Marketing
 U.S. refining and marketing earnings increased to $100 million from $35 million in the prior-year first quarter. Although crude oil costs increased, average sales margins improved on stronger refined product prices and lower operating expenses. Product prices were higher on the West Coast but remain weak, particularly for gasoline, in the company's southeastern markets. Total sales volumes declined slightly year-to- year; however, gasoline volumes increased 2 percent. Refinery inputs also declined, due to scheduled and unscheduled refinery maintenance.
 Environmental provisions of $14 million and $5 million reduced earnings in the 1993 and 1992 quarters, respectively.
 International refining and marketing earnings were flat at $22 million. Operating results continue to be depressed by the weak global economy. An improvement in product sales margins was offset by lower trading and shipping results. Foreign exchange losses were $4 million compared with losses of $9 million in last year's first quarter. Total sales volumes declined 2 percent as lower trading volumes more than offset a 5 percent increase in marketing sales, which occurred mostly in the Caltex operating areas.
 Chemicals
 Chemicals earnings were $18 million, down from $97 million in the first quarter of 1992, which included benefits of $53 million from asset sales and product licensing agreements. Although improved from last year's fourth quarter, operating results continue to suffer from low product prices caused by the weak global economy coupled with industry overcapacity. Earnings were further reduced by foreign exchange losses totaling $4 million.
 Coal and Other Minerals
 Coal and other minerals earnings were $20 million in the 1993 first quarter, double the $10 million earned in the prior-year quarter. Coal earnings improved on higher sales tonnage. Also, the 1993 quarter included a $5 million gain on the sale of undeveloped coal properties.
 Corporate and Other
 Corporate and other operations incurred net charges of $19 million, down substantially from charges of $69 million incurred in the prior- year quarter. The reduction was primarily due to lower interest rates and consolidating tax benefits.
 Capital and Exploratory Expenditures
 Capital and exploratory expenditures, including the company's share of affiliates' expenditures, were $778 million in the 1993 first quarter, compared with $1,080 million in the first quarter of 1992.
 -0- 4/27/93
 /CONTACT: Bonnie Chaikind of Chevron, 415-894-1200/
 (CHV)


CO: Chevron Corp. ST: California IN: OIL CHM SU: ERN

TM -- SF007 -- 1347 04/27/93 12:02 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 27, 1993
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