Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) Q4 2014 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript
Jan 30, 2015 • 11:00 am ET
Good morning. My name is Jonathon and I will be your conference facilitator today. Welcome to Chevron's Fourth Quarter 2014 Earnings Conference Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. After the speakers remarks, there will be a question-and-answer session, and instructions will be given at that time. [Operator Instructions] As a reminder, this conference call is being recorded.
I would now like to turn the conference call over to the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Chevron Corporation, Mr. John Watson. Please go ahead.
Well, thanks Jonathan. Welcome to Chevron's fourth quarter earnings conference call and webcast. On the call with me today are Pat Yarrington, our Chief Financial Officer; and Jeff Gustavson, the General Manager of Investor Relations. We'll refer to the slides that are available on our Web site.
Before we get started, please be reminded that this presentation contains estimates, projections and other forward-looking statements. We ask that you review the cautionary statement on Slide 2.
Turning to Slide 3, I'd like to highlight some of our key accomplishments for the year, starting with safety environmental performance. We had our best year ever on virtually every measure of personal safety, process safety and environmental performance. We expect to lead the industry again. Although commodities prices fell sharply late in the year, our overall financial performance was strong, upstream and downstream had solid years overall and both ended the year with very good reliability. We had excellent progress on our asset divestment program with significant well-timed upstream sales in Chad and in Canada and high valuation mid-stream transactions.
In the first year of the program we finalized just under $6 billion in investments versus the $10 billion three year target for the period 2014 to 2016. We'll update this target at our March meeting. Looking at our downstream business, we completed important liability investments at several of our key refineries, which contributed to high utilization rates in the second half of the year. We became the world's largest premium base oil producer with the start-up of a 25,000 barrel per day plant at our Pascagoula, Mississippi refinery. We continued to make progress on our US Gulf Coast petrochemicals project through Chevron Phillips Chemical Company, our 50% owned affiliate. It is now 50% complete.
Moving to the upstream business. We started Jack/St. Malo which is ramping up ahead of plan and Tubular Bells in the Gulf of Mexico. In Bangladesh, we successfully expanded production at the Bibiyana field. On our LNG projects in Australia, Gorgon is now 90% complete. We're targeting first gas into the system around the middle of the year and the first LNG sales this year. Wheatstone made excellent progress and it's 55% complete and on-track for late 2016 start-up. We've posted a number of photos highlighting our construction progress on these two important projects on our investor webpage.
We progressed development of our shale and tight resource holdings, notably in the Permian. We had one of our best years from an exploration