Chevron has over 1.9 trillion barrels of proved oil reserves in the United States and a global daily output of over 5.25 billion cubic feet of natural gas. Its net income of over eight billion U.S. dollars ranks it among the leading five global gas and oil companies.
As an integrated energy company, Chevron is involved in every aspect of the oil, natural gas, and geothermal energy industries. This includes exploration and production, refining, chemical manufacturing, marketing and transportation, and power generation. Much of Chevron’s growth over recent years has come from success in hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking. This process involves using a large volume of water to access previously unreachable oil and gas reserves. This has led to a dramatic increase in the production of shale gas and tight oil plays, particularly in the United States, though it is not without its skeptics.
While upstream activities get more media attention, Chevron’s downstream operations are noteworthy. In addition to refined petroleum and natural gas, Chevron supplies lubricants such as polyalphaolefin. The firm also runs over 3,800 convenience stores in the United States, which lends itself to widespread brand recognition. In 2018, over ten percent of its capital and exploratory expenditures went to downstream endeavors, while most of the remainder was allocated towards upstream research, such as exploring for new reserves.
As with other energy conglomerates, Chevron has experienced tensions with environmentalists. The company directly contributes a large amount of greenhouse gas emissions, in addition to those that its hydrocarbon products release at their end use. The company is fighting this by investing in research in alternative energy sources, such as geothermal energy. Petroleum spills have been an issue as well, but Chevron endeavors to recover much of what is lost. If the company is to survive the coming decades, it will need to pivot away from hydrocarbons and fully embrace alternative energy technologies.