Chevron Corp. on March 3 laid out plans to return up to $80 billion to its shareholders over the next five years while maintaining a focus on disciplined capital spending.
In what CEO Michael Wirth described as a “winning investment proposition,” Chevron said it will remain focused on its returns-driven approach to capital allocation by targeting lower-risk projects and maintaining its previously announcing capex of $19 billion to $22 billion annually through 2024. The San Ramon, Calif.-based oil major also set a new $2 billion target for cost and margin improvements as well as short cycle, capital-efficient investments.
“We believe our advantaged portfolio and capital efficiency enable us to grow cash flows and increase returns without relying on rising oil prices,” Wirth said in a statement.
Still early into 2020, the industry is facing what is turning out to be one of the most challenging markets in years. Oil prices are down 20% this year and natural gas prices have fallen to their lowest since the 1990s.
“Even with price volatility, we have the capability to deliver leading dividend growth and sustain our buyback program well into the future,” he added.
Chevron expects compound annual production growth greater than 3% from 2019 to 2024, excluding any future unannounced asset sales. Key projects include a major Kazakhstan expansion, deepwater opportunities in the Gulf of Mexico and the company’s Permian Basin position, where Chevron expects to see sustained production over 1 million barrels per day in through 2040 at relatively flat activity levels.
The company has posted a total return of -7.6% in the last two years, compared with a 13.6% total return for the S&P 500 index, according to report by Reuters citing Refinitiv Eikon data.
Reuters contributed to this story.