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From shale to scale, Chevron CEO cites technology as key to production growth

"From shale to scale," technology has the ability to drive efficiency and performance in shale drilling in the Permian Basin and elsewhere, Chevron Corp. Chairman and CEO Mike Wirth said March 12 in Houston at CERAWeek by IHS Markit.

At its annual analyst meeting March 5, the California-based oil and gas major outlined aggressive plans to expand overall production during the next five years, especially from the Permian Basin.

The company is shooting for a 3% to 4% compound annual growth in production through 2023. But it is the Permian that remains the linchpin of Chevron's success in overall output growth. Chevron has added almost 7 billion barrels of resources in the Permian and doubled its portfolio value in the past two years.

Chevron's unconventional net output from the Permian is now expected to reach 600,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day by the end of 2020 and 900,000 boe/d by the end of 2023, Wirth reiterated.

In the fourth quarter of 2018, the company's production from the Permian Basin was 377,000 boe/d, up 12% on the quarter and rising 172,000 boe/d, or 84%, year on year.

Apart from its growth in the Permian Basin, Wirth also pointed to the company's ongoing development of shale assets in the Marcellus Basin, Canada and Argentina.

"The Permian can take all of the air out of the room sometimes," Wirth said.

Highlighting the vast resource potential in various shale plays around the world, Wirth indicated the Gulf of Mexico also remains key to its production growth strategy in the next few years.

"The Gulf of Mexico is a very important part of our portfolio," Wirth said, indicating there is still a "tremendous amount of resources" in that region to be tapped.