The U.S.’s second-biggest oil and gas producer went into the 2014 oil crash in a weaker position than ExxonMobil and is struggling more, accordingly, in its efforts to come to terms with the new low price environment. Where Chevron has ended its share buyback program, Exxon’s is still going (albeit in reduced scale). Chevron’s restructuring costs drove it to a loss in the first quarter of 2016, while Exxon remains profitable. Last October, it said it would cut up to 10% of its 70,000 workforce. It has already twice cut its estimated investment budget for this year to conserve cash, and is offload non-core assets like its refinery in Hawaii where it can. On the brighter side, projects that have consumed enormous amounts of money in the past, like the Gorgon liquefied natural gas project in Australia, are finally coming on stream, and its balance sheet, while not as strong as Exxon’s, is still strong enough for it to allow CEO John Watson to be on the lookout for bargains as the market recovers.
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