press release

Chevron Press Release - Chevron Chooses Beijing As Far East Hub

Relocates key Business Center; $60 million exploration drilling program planned in China

RHM-Beijing.JPG (12659 bytes)

Richard Matzke addresses guests at COPI's Asia Business Unit Relocation reception. Attendees included members of the Chinese government, leaders of the Chinese petroleum industry, and ambassadors and embassy officials representing many Asia nations.

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 14, 1998 -- In a move to support its growing business interests in China and in the Pacific Rim, Chevron officially inaugurated a new center for its Asia business unit in ceremonies held Friday (Dec. 11) in Beijing.

"We're extremely pleased with our exploration and production successes in China," said Richard Matzke, a director of Chevron Corp. and president of Chevron Overseas Petroleum Inc. "And, as testament to our long-term commitment to the country, we've chosen Beijing as the focal point -- not only for Chevron's expanded upstream activities in China -- but also as the new regional center for our pursuit of new ventures in the rest of Asia."

Matzke said Chevron plans to invest about $60 million in China to drill nine wildcat exploration wells -- earmarking it as the company's most significant wildcat drilling program in the world. Since 1979, Chevron has invested some $400 million in exploration and production activities in China.

Rob Lagaay, managing director of Chevron's Asia business unit, noted that the business unit's move from San Ramon, Calif., will positively impact and support expansion of the company's operations in the Pacific Rim.

"In order to achieve the growth objectives of Chevron and its host-country partners, it makes the most sense to coordinate our activities from Beijing, a city internationally recognized as one of Asia's rapidly emerging hubs for commerce and industry," said Lagaay.

Expanding on their future plans for China investment, the Chevron executives outlined several projects including: continued exploration and production in the Huizhou oil fields; plans to drill at least nine exploration wells in existing contract areas (South China Sea, Bohai Sea, and the onshore Shengli field); and pursuit of cooperative projects in other existing oil and gas fields.

Matzke and Lagaay also indicated Chevron's eagerness to evaluate the potential of new Asian opportunities in areas such as Bangladesh, Thailand and the Philippines. Lagaay added, "Based on the continued positive investment climate in China, we expect to conduct activities from our Beijing hub for many, many years."

Matzke and Lagaay praised the Chinese government and the Chinese national oil companies for their significant reorganizations currently in progress, and concluded, "their changes will have a most positive impact on the petroleum industry in China ... and we at Chevron are proud and honored to be a participant in that change and growth."

Sheng Huaren, chairman of State Economics and Trade Commission on behalf of Vice Premier Wu Bang Guo, represented the Chinese government at the inauguration celebration. Joining them were other dignitaries, including Zhang Mao, the vice mayor of Beijing; leaders of the Chinese petroleum industry; and ambassadors and embassy officials representing many Asian nations.

Notes to editors:

  • Asia/Pacific is a focal region for Chevron, which has existing production in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, China and Australia. The company also has downstream operations throughout Asia under the auspices of Chevron Chemical Co. (CCC), as well as its 50 percent ownership of Caltex.
  • Chevron is now actively planning investments (e.g., CCC polystyrene plant) across the petroleum value chain in China, further developing the partnership with China that dates back to 1979. Chevron is pursuing many other projects via its partner companies and through its stake in Caltex.

Updated: December 1998