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Weak refining and charges see Chevron fall to fourth-quarter loss

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US oil major and downstream retail and manufacturing expert Chevron Corp swung to an $11 million fourth-quarter loss and missed Wall Street expectations as low margins on fuel, acquisition costs and foreign currency effects overwhelmed improved drilling results.

Chevron Corporation’s fourth-quarter profits dropped by nine percent but the oil company still made enough to post its third consecutive year of record earnings.

Chevron was quick to respond to the downturn last year, cutting up to 15 percent of its global workforce, slashing new project outlays more than a third, and pulling back on oil production goals. It used a relatively strong financial position to acquire Noble Energy for $4.2 billion in stock and the assumption of $8 billion in debt.

Despite a recent rise in oil prices, Chevron will not boost capital spending this year, chief financial officer Pierre Breber said: “While we’re optimistic about vaccines and getting on a pathway to recovery, we’re not there right now. We still have an economy that’s operating well below capacity. We still have inventory levels that are high.”

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