chairman's letter

Mike Wirth, Chairman and CEO
Michael K. Wirth, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer

to our stockholders

The contributions of the energy industry to economic development have enabled the greatest advancements in living standards in recorded history. Over the course of nearly 140 years, Chevron has become a leader in helping improve the communities we touch – reducing energy poverty, driving economic and social development, improving health and education, delivering the benefits of modern life, and working to advance human progress for billions around the world, in developed and developing countries alike. Our leadership is a profound source of pride. 

We take seriously our responsibility to answer the call of those who aspire to a better today – even as we continuously innovate to solve the energy challenges of tomorrow. That is why we are anchored to, and guided by, the vision, values and strategies of The Chevron Way. We strive to operate as the global energy company most admired for its people, partnership and performance. We are committed to business and enterprise strategies that enhance our ability to deliver industry-leading results and superior stockholder value in any business environment. And most important, we are united by our purpose: enabling human progress by developing the energy that improves lives and powers the world forward. 

At the heart of Chevron are a dedicated, innovative and talented global workforce and a Board of Directors that is engaged with leadership to oversee strategic decisions and to manage the wide array of risks inherent to our business.

Delivering on our purpose requires relationships built upon trust and integrity throughout the world. So just as important as what we do is how we do it, through ethical and responsible actions that support and protect our workforce, our stakeholders, the communities where we operate and the environment, while delivering lasting and sustainable value to our stockholders. This is our definition of leading the right way. The responsible way. The Chevron Way.

In 2017, the world economy grew at its quickest pace in nearly five years, providing strong support to oil and gas demand. The combination of healthy demand growth and OPEC production cuts reduced the surplus in global oil markets, and China’s actions to reduce air pollution and curb coal use supported demand in liquefied natural gas (LNG) markets. 

Meanwhile, heightened geopolitical tensions throughout the world added uncertainty to markets, with ongoing tensions on the Korean Peninsula, continued strain in the Middle East and challenging economic conditions across oil exporting economies. The U.S. Congress passed the first comprehensive tax reform legislation in decades and began work on regulatory reform, providing renewed optimism for the U.S. economy. 

Overall, oil and gas market conditions improved in 2017, and hydrocarbons are projected to play an important role in fueling the world economy for decades to come. Chevron’s actions to bring on line new production from the Permian Basin in the United States and from our major capital projects in Australia helped meet growing global demand in 2017 and supported our aim of being a reliable supplier of the affordable energy the world needs in order to prosper. 

chevron wheatstone overview

chevron wheatstone overview

Wheatstone is one of Australia’s largest resource projects—providing greater security of supply and significant economic benefits, such as employment, government revenue and local business opportunities.

During the downturn in commodity prices that began in 2014, we adjusted to challenging conditions, and in 2017, we delivered on our commitments to generate winning performance in any price environment. A key objective for 2017 was to become cash neutral – balance cash coming in and cash going out – in an environment of lower commodity prices. Full-year cash flow from operations was $20.5 billion, and we were cash balanced without asset sales. This momentum continues as we move into 2018. 

In 2017, we improved returns by further reducing expenses and by generating increased revenues as we brought projects on line. At the same time, our capital spending continued to shift toward shorter-cycle, high-return investments in unconventional oil and gas. 

We continued to unlock value from our industry-leading portfolio of opportunities, including legacy positions in Australia, Kazakhstan and the Permian Basin. We captured the benefits of being an integrated energy company with strong earnings, cash flow and returns from our Downstream & Chemicals business. 

Our full-year 2017 net income was $9.2 billion, up $9.7 billion from a loss in 2016. Our sales and other operating revenue was $134.7 billion, up $24.5 billion from 2016. We achieved a 5.0 percent return on capital employed. 

2017 total net income

$9.2 billion

In 2017, chevron's annual per-share dividend payout
increased for the 30th consecutive year

Chevron’s first financial priority is maintaining and growing the dividend when we can sustainably support the increase with cash flow and earnings. In 2017, our annual per-share dividend payout increased for the 30th consecutive year. We also strengthened our balance sheet – our year-end debt ratio was 20.7 percent, down from 24.1 percent at year-end 2016.

Our performance reflected the actions we took to ensure our competitiveness in any operating environment. Our priorities were to complete and start up projects under construction, reduce capital spending and operating expenses, selectively sell assets, and operate safely and reliably.

In 2017, we met those priorities. We finished construction of key major capital projects. We reduced capital spending to $18.8 billion from $22.4 billion in 2016. Since 2013, we’ve reduced our capital spending from a peak of $41.9 billion. We also lowered operating expenses by $1.1 billion from 2016. We met our 2016–2017 target for asset sales, receiving total proceeds of $8 billion. And our steadfast commitment to eliminate high-consequence incidents continued.

In 2017, our Upstream business reported worldwide net production of 2.7 million oil-equivalent barrels per day, up more than 5 percent from 2016. We added approximately 1.54 billion barrels of net oil-equivalent proved reserves, replacing approximately 155 percent of production. In Australia, we continued to ramp up LNG production by bringing on line Gorgon Train 3 and Wheatstone Train 1. We ramped up production at Gorgon Trains 1 and 2 and at Jack/St. Malo in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. The Hebron Project, our non-operated joint venture in Canada, started production in 2017. In Kazakhstan, we continued construction on the Future Growth Project and Wellhead Pressure Management Project. Production from our shale and tight rock activity in the Permian Basin exceeded expectations, driven by innovations in well design, applications of new technology, continued improvement in well drilling and completions, and an increase in long-lateral well inventory through optimization of our land position.

Chevron’s 2017 results reflected strong performance from our Downstream & Chemicals business. In keeping with our strategic growth plans, we entered the retail fuel market in Mexico. Our joint venture Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. reached important milestones at its major U.S. Gulf Coast expansion, helping meet increased global petrochemicals demand and supporting our growth strategy. Chevron Oronite’s Singapore plant completed its carboxylate project, which will double worldwide production capacity of this important lubricant additive. The modernization project at our Richmond Refinery, in California, met its construction milestones for the year and is on track to start up in 2018.

celebrating strategic growth in petrochemicals

celebrating strategic growth in petrochemicals

Our joint venture Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. reached important milestones at its major U.S. Gulf Coast expansion, helping meet increased global petrochemicals demand and supporting our growth strategy.

Our Midstream organization achieved a significant milestone by delivering the first LNG cargo from Wheatstone to customers in Japan. We also completed the largest shipbuilding and fleet modernization program in recent Chevron history, taking delivery of our fifth and sixth LNG carriers.

Chevron is in the business of progress – providing the energy to help local communities and economies grow and thrive. We know that our role in supplying the reliable, affordable and ever cleaner energy that the world needs is crucial, and we strive to deliver on our commitments. Each year, we invest tens of billions of dollars in jobs, goods and services in the communities around the world where we operate. Our strategic partnerships and social investments represent further important contributions to community prosperity. Over the past five years, we’ve made more than $1.1 billion in social investments globally, consistently placing Chevron in the top quartile of Fortune 100 companies in these investments.

over the last five years chevron invested


billion in global goods and services


billion in global social investments

In health, environment and safety for 2017, we maintained industry-leading personal safety rates and outperformed targets for several core metrics. To advance our focus on eliminating high-consequence incidents and impacts, we developed and deployed tools to assure that safeguards are in place and functioning before beginning high-risk work.

We recognize that climate change is a subject of growing interest for investors, stakeholders and the public. In 2017, we engaged with our stockholders to better understand their questions about climate change related to our business.

Stakeholder engagement

45 ESG*

representing 36% of chevron common stock
(683 million shares)

*Environmental, social and governance

In response, we have published a new, more in-depth report that addresses our framework for incorporating climate change into our governance, risk management, strategy, and actions and investments. Read our climate change report.

In our annual Corporate Responsibility Report, we highlight key environmental, social and governance issues and performance. Read our corporate responsibility report.

As we look to the future, there is much we do not know. But a few things are certain. Populations will grow, incomes will rise and people will strive for better lives. Reliable, affordable and ever cleaner energy is essential to support this progress. The world’s population is expected to increase by 1.7 billion people by 2040, and global energy demand is projected to increase by nearly 30 percent over that period. Yet even today, more than a billion people around the world have little or no access to reliable, affordable energy and the human progress it enables. We cannot leave them behind in our pursuit of the future.

Oil and natural gas are among the most reliable and affordable forms of energy available across the globe today and are forecast to be a major part of the world’s energy portfolio for the foreseeable future.

The world also wants cleaner energy. We continue to make strides in reducing our environmental impact and finding ways to deliver smarter, cleaner energy production. At the same time, we continue to evaluate emerging and future sources of energy and the role they should play in Chevron’s portfolio.

Chevron is an energy company built for the future. Our long, proud history, our commitment to our social purpose, our global partnerships and our outstanding portfolio of assets give us a powerful advantage as we compete in the ever-evolving market for energy. Yet Chevron’s greatest strength is our people.

For generations, Chevron has developed and deployed world-class talent across many fields of science and technology to solve some of our most complex and pressing challenges. Individuals and teams across our company are examining the questions of today and the opportunities of tomorrow, pushing boundaries to ensure we deliver on our promises to our stockholders, our partners and our global societies.

It was the strength of our people and their commitment to our purpose that enabled Chevron to navigate the pressure of falling commodity prices and expanding supply during the Great Depression; discover crude oil in the desert of Saudi Arabia; help fuel the Allies to victory in World War II; become the first Western energy company to enter newly independent Kazakhstan; and apply technology and innovation to find, produce and transport resources in ever-more-challenging global environments. It is this same strength and commitment that has maintained stability amid the challenge of the recent prolonged period of lower commodity prices. Looking ahead, it is this strength and commitment upon which we will build Chevron’s success.

Chevron moves into the future with optimism and purpose, confident in our leadership role in developing the energy that unlocks the potential for progress and prosperity. In doing so, we are committed to delivering industry-leading results and superior stockholder value safely, responsibly and ethically in any operating environment.

Thank you for investing in Chevron.

Mike Wirth

Michael K. Wirth
Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer
February 22, 2018