Chevron explores for and produces crude oil and natural gas around the world. In 2012, our worldwide net oil-equivalent production averaged 2.61 million barrels per day, with about 25 percent of the production coming from the United States and the rest from more than 20 other countries.
Continued development of our base business—our existing production facilities—is critical to maintaining the company's oil and natural gas production. By focusing on operational processes, we have reduced the annual rate of production decline in the base business to about 4 percent. The effective use of our own technology has helped improve long-term field performance.
Production growth is dependent on bringing resources and proved reserves into production through major capital projects. Chevron has an extensive lineup of major capital projects under way, from conventional oil and natural gas to deepwater, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and heavy oil developments.
Exploration also is key to future growth. The company's focus areas for exploration in 2012 were the deepwater regions of West Africa, the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, offshore northwest Australia and unconventional resources such as shale gas and shale oil in North America. Drilling and seismic activities were ongoing or being planned in promising fields in Argentina, Canada, China, central Europe, Indonesia, the Kurdistan region of Iraq, Liberia, Thailand, Vietnam, and the United Kingdom.
Chevron is developing natural gas from shale formations in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan in the United States. Shale exploration acreage was also added in Canada and Romania. In 2012, we added acreage in New Mexico and Lithuania. In early 2013, the company acquired shallow-water acreage offshore China and signed agreements to pursue exploration opportunities offshore Morocco, in the Karoo shale basin in South Africa, and in the Cooper Basin in Australia.
Partnering for Growth in the Caspian
Chevron is the largest private producer of oil in Kazakhstan, and we're involved in two of the country's largest projects, Tengiz and Karachaganak. Since 1993, Chevron has led the Tengizchevroil (TCO) joint venture in the development of the giant Tengiz and adjacent Korolev fields. In November 2012, TCO produced its 2 billionth barrel of crude oil from the Tengiz and Korolev fields. In 2013, final investment decisions are expected on the Future Growth Project, the Wellhead Pressure Management Project and the Capacity and Reliability Project. Chevron also holds a stake in Karachaganak, Kazakhstan's second-largest producing petroleum reserve.
In Azerbaijan, Chevron has an interest in the Azerbaijan International Operating Company, which produces and develops offshore oil reserves in the Caspian Sea from the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli project.
Investing in the Asia-Pacific Region
As the largest resource holder and producer among international oil companies in the Asia-Pacific region, Chevron is investing in a portfolio of resources to meet growing energy demand in the region.
In Australia, the company is leading the development of the Gorgon and Wheatstone LNG and domestic gas projects. Gorgon is Australia's largest single-resource project and has an expected economic life of more than 40 years from the time of startup, which is scheduled for late 2014. Construction continues on the Wheatstone Project, with startup expected in 2016. Chevron is a founding partner in the North West Shelf Venture, which supplies natural gas to Western Australia and LNG to customers in the Asia-Pacific region. We also have operated the country's largest oil field, on Barrow Island, for more than 45 years. Chevron continues to make significant investments in exploration offshore northwest Australia and has announced a number of gas discoveries in recent years.
In Thailand, Chevron is the leading natural gas and oil producer. We operate more than 200 platforms in the Gulf of Thailand and we supply Thailand with approximately one-third of the country’s gas demand. In 2013, front-end engineering and design work is expected to begin at the Ubon Project.
Elsewhere in the region, Chevron is the top oil producer in Indonesia, where we operate one of the world’s largest steamflood developments at the Duri Field on Sumatra. In China, we operate the $6.4 billion Chuandongbei natural gas development, which is expected to finish construction before the end of 2013. And in Bangladesh, we supply nearly half of the country's natural gas consumption.
Growing With Africa and Latin America
We are applying our expertise and advanced technology to meet the energy needs of growing African and Latin American economies. Our operations include oil and natural gas, LNG, gas-to-liquids and deepwater and heavy oil exploration and production.
Chevron ranks among the top petroleum producers in Angola. We invest in major energy projects intended to dramatically increase oil production and conserve natural gas for use in Angola. We are working with our partners on a major development program to significantly increase production from the Block 0 concession, offshore Cabinda Province. This includes the second stage of the Mafumeira field development, Mafumeira Sul, which reached a final investment decision in 2012. Also in 2013, the first LNG shipment is expected from the Angola LNG Project at Soyo.
Chevron is the third-largest oil producer in Nigeria and one of the largest investors in the country. We have extensive interests in deepwater Nigeria, including the Agbami Field, one of Nigeria's largest deepwater discoveries. The Agbami Phase 2 and Usan deepwater projects began production in 2012. And the Escravos gas-to-liquids facility is expected to begin production in 2013.
In Latin America, Chevron has operations or interests in six countries. In Brazil, our second deepwater development, Papa-Terra, is expected to start up in 2013.
Chevron participates in onshore and offshore production projects in Venezuela, including plans for the country's first LNG train and Petropiar, which upgrades extra-heavy crude oil to lighter, higher-value synthetic crude oil. In Colombia, Chevron produces enough natural gas to meet approximately 60 percent of the nation's demand.
Maximizing Mature Resources and Creating New Opportunities
In North America, Chevron uses the latest technology to maintain strong production in mature fields while discovering and developing new resources. We are one of the largest producers of crude oil and natural gas in the United States, with major producing operations in California, the Gulf of Mexico, the Appalachian Basin, Texas, New Mexico and the Rocky Mountains. And we continue to pursue opportunities in unconventional oil and gas resources with an ongoing focus on developing tight oil and liquids-rich shale production, such as in the Delaware Basin in New Mexico.
We are a major producer of crude oil and natural gas on the Gulf of Mexico shelf and in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. Our projects include the Blind Faith and Tahiti deepwater developments. The ongoing $7.5 billion Jack/St. Malo and $4.1 billion Big Foot projects are expected to begin production in 2014.
In 2012, Chevron again ranked No. 1 in net oil-equivalent production in California, primarily from the San Joaquin Valley. Our extensive thermal recovery operations have revolutionized the production of heavy oil from these century-old central California fields. We also are one of the largest hydrocarbon producers in the Permian Basin of West Texas.
In Canada, most of our crude oil production comes from the Hibernia Field offshore Newfoundland and Labrador, and we are a partner in the Athabasca Oil Sands Expansion Project, which produces bitumen—hydrocarbons mixed with asphalts and tars—from oil sands. We also are evaluating and developing a range of unconventional resource options, such as shale gas development in western Canada. In 2012, we began production at a shale formation in Alberta. We continue to pursue development opportunities offshore eastern Canada and have interests in Canada's western Arctic. The Chevron Arctic Center in Calgary is home base for experts on safe and environmentally sound exploration and resource development in the challenging Arctic environment. In early 2013, Chevron acquired a 50 percent-owned and operated interest in the Kitimat LNG project and proposed Pacific Trail Pipeline, and a 50 percent nonoperated interest in acreage in the Horn River and Liard Basins.
Chevron is the only large international energy company with a continuous upstream presence in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Our partnership spans more than 70 years. On behalf of the kingdom, we conduct exploration and production activities in the Partitioned Zone between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Our Large-Scale Pilot Steamflood Project at the Wafra Field is designed to determine the technical and economic viability of thermal-recovery projects in the heavy oil carbonate reservoir.
In Europe, Chevron has a variety of producing operations and exploration interests in the western region of the Shetland Basin, the Norwegian Barents Sea and the U.K. North Sea. Chevron operations in the North Sea have a track record of technological innovation. The Captain Field was one of the first North Sea fields to employ horizontal drilling. In recent years, the company has acquired exploration licenses for shale gas acreage in Poland and Romania.
Updated: June 2013