In order to stay competitive, super major Chevron (CVX) must continually reach for new and better ways to bring oil related products to market. The company is doing just that in various formats.
One such way is its recent announcement of its new premium hydraulic oils that will deliver fuel costs savings while enhancing productivity. The company says that these new oils are proven to reduce fuel consumption by improving overall pump efficiency by up to 8% and that compared to conventional monogrades will deliver productivity gains of up to 25%.
Chevron, under Chevron Lubricants, introduced the three new hydraulic oils which feature improved oxidation and shear stability. Of course, this is in addition to Chevron's already expanding oil empire which includes a much closer step to bringing product to the surface with its 2010 discovery of commercial oil resources off the coast of Cambodia. With the company's ever expanding ambitious reach and its dedication to exploration and production activities, I believe Chevron to be a keeper for a long time. This is a company every oil and gas investor should own based on its solid foundation and historical track record.
Though Cambodia still doesn't have all of the laws and regulations in place to allow for a license for Chevron's drilling, the current momentum is bringing the deal closer. Chevron has already drilled 18 wells in an area known as Block A, and will begin developing the field under a production-sharing agreement by the end of this year. Mirach Energy announced that it is ready to begin drilling offshore Cambodia as well. Mirach Energy is an investment holding company that engages in the oil and gas exploration and production, and coal production businesses, and other oilfield services. The company also offers data management information systems and information technology solutions and software relating to oilfield services, as well as selling hardware products and equipment.
Chevron already has an investment of $160 million in this play and last year Chevron Overseas Petroleum (Cambodia) Ltd. president Steve Glick stated that the company believed "Bloc A was financially viable, though 'relatively small,' and was technically challenging to drill, as the site's oil is spread out among smaller pools, rather than one large reservoir, making it harder to reach. Technically, Chevron's ready to go … And we're working through the remaining issues with the Cambodian Petroleum National Authority with the target of getting a final investment decision this year."
Chevron is making headway in Australia as well. The company announced success in a premier hydrocarbon basin in the Greater Gorgon area, located in the Carnarvon Basin. The Satyr-2 exploration discovery well is located in an area approximately 75 miles northwest of Barrow Island off the Western Australian coast and confirmed approximately 128 feet of net gas pay. Competitor Exxon Mobil (XOM) also has an interest in Australia. This past June, Exxon set up a joint venture with Energy Resources of Australia to explore and develop coal reserves of methane gas occurring naturally within more than 16 billion tons of brown coal. The coal is close to the surface in the Gippsland Basin of southeast Victoria, with approximately 280 billion tons in deeper seams.
Expanding to other regions, Chevron recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with YPF (YPF), the state controlled energy company, to explore both conventional and unconventional oil and shale gas in the Vaca Muerta basin that is located in the province of Neuquen, Argentina. The discovery of the Vaca Muerta basin made Argentina the world's third largest holder of recoverable natural gas reserves, behind China and the U.S., with estimates for the region expected at approximately 23 billion barrels of recoverable oil. YPF SA has set a $37.2 billion investment plan until 2017 to increase its oil and natural gas production by 32% also signing MOUs with Exxon Mobil and Apache (APA). Apache has been operating in Argentina since 2001 and currently has operations in the Provinces of Neuquén, Rio Negro, Tierra del Fuego and Mendoza.
Other companies are beginning to see the potential in this region of South America as well. Pan American Energy (PAE), a joint venture 60% owned by BP (BP) and 40% by Argentina's Bridas, has its headquarters in Buenos Aires. This company entered into an agreement with the Argentina government to develop Cerro Dragón in the Chubut and Santa Cruz provinces through to 2027, with an option to extend out to 2047. Chevron's MOU with YPF SA provides another viable and profitable agreement for the company.
On U.S. soil, Chevron announced that its subsidiary, Chevron U.S., has agreed to acquire from Chesapeake Energy (CHK) 246,000 net leasehold acres that are part of the Permian Basin in the Delaware Basin in New Mexico. Chevron already holds approximately 700,000 net acres in the Delaware Basin, containing oil and wet gas plays, including the Avalon Shale and the Bone Spring Sands. The transaction gives Chesapeake Energy some needed breathing room toward meeting an estimated $10 billion funding gap after some controversial land deals and personal loans made the CEO Aubrey McClendon cause the Chesapeake to not only lose steam, but become unstable. The company is seeking to cut its $14.33 billion debt load down to $4 billion.
In its second quarter results, Chevron announced that sales and other operating revenues in the second quarter 2012 were $60 billion. Year-over-year, the company has been able to grow revenues from $189.6 billion to $236.3 billion. Most impressively, the company has been able to reduce the percentage of sales devoted to selling, general and administrative costs from 3.12% to 2.52%. Chairman and CEO John Watson stated that, "Despite current weakness in the global economy, we continue to invest in our long-term growth projects to help deliver affordable energy to meet future demand. We took several important steps to advance our major upstream capital projects, in particular achieving milestones in our natural gas development projects in the Asia-Pacific region. We also expanded our global exploration resource acreage, including new leases in the Gulf of Mexico where we already hold a significant position."
Chevron is on a non-stop mission of exploration and production that continues to impress. It is one company that is definitely a keeper for the long-term.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.