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Chevron Corporation

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Chevron Corporation
  • Pacific Coast Oil Co.[1]
  • Standard Oil of California
FoundedSeptember 10, 1879; 142 years ago (1879-09-10) as "Pacific Coast Oil Co."
HeadquartersSan Ramon, California, U.S.[3]
Area served
Key people
Michael Wirth
(Chairman and CEO)[4]
ProductsGasoline, natural gas and other petrochemicals, See Chevron products
Revenue Increase US$162.47 billion (2021)[5]
Increase US$21.64 billion (2021)[5]
Increase US$15.63 billion (2021)[5]
Total assetsDecrease US$239.54 billion (2021)[5]
Total equityIncrease US$139.94 billion (2021)[5]
Number of employees
42,595 (March 2021)[5]
ParentStandard Oil Co. (1900–1911)

Chevron Corporation is an American multinational energy corporation. One of the successor companies of Standard Oil, it is headquartered in San Ramon, California, and active in more than 180 countries. Chevron is engaged in every aspect of the oil and natural gas industries, including hydrocarbon exploration and production; refining, marketing and transport; chemicals manufacturing and sales; and power generation. It was also one of the Seven Sisters that dominated the global petroleum industry from the mid-1940s to the 1970s.

Chevron's downstream operations manufacture and sell products such as fuels, lubricants, additives, and petrochemicals. The company's most significant areas of operations are the west coast of North America, the U.S. Gulf Coast, Southeast Asia, South Korea and Australia. In 2018, the company produced an average of 791,000 barrels of net oil-equivalent per day in United States.[6]

Chevron is one of the largest companies in the world and the second largest oil company based in the United States by revenue, only behind ExxonMobil. Chevron ranked 16th on the Fortune 500 in 2022 with revenues of $162.5 billion USD, which also ranked it 37th on the Fortune Global 500. The company is also the last-remaining oil and gas component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average since ExxonMobil's exit from the index in 2020.[7][8]

Chevron has been subject to numerous controversies arising out of its activities, the most notable of which being related to its activities and inherited liabilities from its acquisition of Texaco in the Lago Agrio oil field, which include allegations of both Chevron and Texaco collectively dumping 18 billion tons of toxic waste and spilling 17 million gallons of petroleum.[9] Chevron and Texaco's activities were the subject of a lawsuit Chevron lost to Ecuadorian residents defended in Ecuadorian court by Steven Donziger. Due to accusations of Donziger bribing the Ecuadorian court and the subsequent disbarment and criminal contempt charges against Donziger, Chevron was accused by environmentalists and human rights groups of jailing Donziger and compelling the US government to deny Donziger due process of law.[10][11]



Chart of the major energy companies dubbed "Big Oil" sorted by latest published revenue
Chart of the major energy companies dubbed "Big Oil" sorted by latest published revenue

One of Chevron's early predecessors, "Star Oil", discovered oil at the Pico Canyon Oilfield in the Santa Susana Mountains north of Los Angeles in 1876. The 25 barrels of oil per day well marked the discovery of the Newhall Field, and is considered by geophysicist Marius Vassiliou as the beginning of the modern oil industry in California.[12] Energy analyst Antonia Juhasz has said that while Star Oil's founders were influential in establishing an oil industry in California, Union Mattole Company discovered oil in the state eleven years prior.[13]

In September 1879, Charles N. Felton, Lloyd Tevis, George Loomis and others created the "Pacific Coast Oil Company", which acquired the assets of Star Oil[12] with $1 million in funding.[14] Pacific Coast Oil became the largest oil interest in California[14] by the time it was acquired by Standard Oil for $761,000 in 1900.[12] Pacific Coast operated independently and retained its name until 1906, when it was merged with a Standard Oil subsidiary and it became "Standard Oil Company (California)" or "California Standard".[15][16]

Another predecessor, Texas Fuel Company, was founded in 1901, in Beaumont, Texas as an oil equipment vendor by "Buckskin Joe". The founder's nickname came from being harsh and aggressive.[13] Texas Fuel worked closely with Chevron. In 1936, it formed a joint venture with California Standard named Caltex, to drill and produce oil in Saudi Arabia.[17] According to energy analyst and activist shareholder Antonia Juhasz,[18][19][20] the Texas Fuel Company and California Standard were often referred to as the "terrible twins" for their cutthroat business practices.[21] The Texas Fuel Company was renamed the Texas Company, and later renamed Texaco.[16][21]

Formation of the Chevron name

A Chevron station branded under the Standard name in Las Vegas, pictured in 2009
A Chevron station branded under the Standard name in Las Vegas, pictured in 2009

In 1911, the federal government broke Standard Oil into several pieces under the Sherman Antitrust Act. One of those pieces, Standard Oil Co. (California), went on to become Chevron. It became part of the "Seven Sisters", which dominated the world oil industry in the early 20th century. In 1926, the company changed its name to Standard Oil Co. of California (SOCAL).[22] By the terms of the breakup of Standard Oil, at first Standard of California could use the Standard name only within its original geographic area of the Pacific coast states, plus Nevada and Arizona; outside that area, it had to use another name.

Today, Chevron is the owner of the Standard Oil trademark in 16 states in the western and southeastern United States. Since American trademark law operates under a use-it-or-lose-it rule,[23] the company owns and operates one Standard-branded Chevron station in each state of the area.[24][25] However, its status in Kentucky is unclear after Chevron withdrew its brand from retail sales from Kentucky in July 2010.[26][27]

The 'Chevron' name came into use for some of its retail products in the 1930s. The name "Calso" was also used from 1946 to 1955, in states outside its native West Coast territory.[28][29]

Standard Oil Company of California ranked 75th among United States corporations in the value of World War II military production contracts.[30]

In 1933, Saudi Arabia granted California Standard a concession to find oil, which led to the discovery of oil in 1938. In 1948, California Standard discovered the world's largest oil field in Saudi Arabia, Ghawar Field.[31] California Standard's subsidiary, California-Arabian Standard Oil Company, grew over the years and became the Arabian American Oil Company (ARAMCO) in 1944. In 1973, the Saudi government began buying into ARAMCO. By 1980, the company was entirely owned by the Saudis, and in 1988, its name was changed to Saudi Arabian Oil Company—Saudi Aramco.[32]

Standard Oil of California and Gulf Oil merged in 1984,[33] which was the largest merger in history at that time.[34][35] To comply with U.S. antitrust law, California Standard divested many of Gulf's operating subsidiaries, and sold some Gulf stations and a refinery in the eastern United States. (The refinery is currently owned by Sunoco.) Among the assets sold off were Gulf's retail outlets in Gulf's home market of Pittsburgh, where Chevron lacks a retail presence but does retain a regional headquarters there as of 2013, partially for Marcellus Shale-related drilling.[36] The same year, Standard Oil of California also took the opportunity to change its legal name to 'Chevron Corporation', since it had already been using the well-known "Chevron" retail brand name for decades. Chevron would sell the Gulf Oil trademarks for the entire U.S. to Cumberland Farms, the parent company of Gulf Oil LP, in 2010 after Cumberland Farms had a license to the Gulf trademark in the Northeastern United States since 1986.[37]

In 1996, Chevron transferred its natural gas gathering, operating and marketing operation to NGC Corporation (later Dynegy) in exchange for a roughly 25% equity stake in NGC.[38] In a merger completed February 1, 2000, Illinova Corp. became a wholly owned subsidiary of Dynegy Inc. and Chevron's stake increased up to 28%.[39] However, in May 2007, Chevron sold its stake in the company for approximately $985 million, resulting in a gain of $680 million.[40][41]

Merger with Texaco and post-merger

Chevron gas station design used until 2006
Chevron gas station design used until 2006

On October 10, 2000, Texaco announced the purchase of General Motors' share in GM Ovonics,[42][43][44] a manufacturer of NiMH batteries for electric cars, which in 2003, was restructured into Cobasys, a 50/50 joint venture between Chevron and Energy Conversion Devices Ovonics. In 2009, both Chevron and Energy Conservation Devices sold their stakes in Cobasys to SB LiMotive Co.[citation needed]

On October 15, 2000, Chevron announced acquisition of Texaco in a deal valued at $45 billion, creating the second-largest oil company in the United States and the world's fourth-largest publicly traded oil company with a combined market value of approximately $95 billion.[45][46][47][48] The acquisition was completed on October 9, 2001.[49] The merged company was named "ChevronTexaco". On May 9, 2005, ChevronTexaco announced it would drop the Texaco moniker and return to the Chevron name. Texaco remained as a brand under the Chevron Corporation.[50]

In 2005, Chevron purchased Unocal Corporation for $18.4 billion, increasing the company's petroleum and natural gas reserves by about 15%.[51][52][53][54] Because of Unocal's large South East Asian geothermal operations, Chevron became a large producer of geothermal energy.[55] The deal did not include Unocal's former retail operations including the Union 76 trademark, as it had sold that off to Tosco Corporation in 1997.[56] The 76 brand is currently owned by Phillips 66, unaffiliated with Chevron.

Chevron and the Los Alamos National Laboratory started a cooperation in 2006, to improve the recovery of hydrocarbons from oil shale by developing a shale oil extraction process named Chevron CRUSH.[57] In 2006, the United States Department of the Interior issued a research, development and demonstration lease for Chevron's demonstration oil shale project on public lands in Colorado's Piceance Basin.[58] In February 2012, Chevron notified the Bureau of Land Management and the Department of Reclamation, Mining and Safety that it intends to divest this lease.[59]

In July 2010, Chevron ended retail operations in the Mid-Atlantic United States by removing the Chevron and Texaco names from 1,100 stations.[26][27] In 2011, Chevron acquired Pennsylvania based Atlas Energy Inc. for $3.2 billion in cash and an additional $1.1 billion in existing debt owed by Atlas.[60][61][62] Three months later, Chevron acquired drilling and development rights for another 228,000 acres in the Marcellus Shale from Chief Oil & Gas LLC and Tug Hill, Inc.[63]

In September 2013, Total S.A. and its joint venture partner agreed to buy Chevron's retail distribution business in Pakistan for an undisclosed amount.[64] In October 2014, Chevron announced that it would sell a 30 percent holding in its Canadian oil shale holdings to Kuwait's state-owned oil company Kuwait Oil Company for a fee of $1.5 billion.[65]

In 2016, Chevron announced it was planning to exit South Africa, where it had had a presence for over a century.[66]

In April 2019, Chevron announced their intention to acquire Anadarko Petroleum in a deal valued at $33 billion, but decided to focus on other acquisitions shortly afterwards when a deal could not be reached.[67]

In February 2020, Chevron joins Marubeni Corporation and WAVE Equity Partners in investing in Carbon Clean Solutions, a company that provides portable carbon capture technology for the oil field and other industrial facilities.[68] Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and 2020 Russia–Saudi Arabia oil price war, Chevron announced reductions of 10–15% of its workforce.[69]

On July 20, 2020, Chevron announced that it would acquire Noble Energy for $5 billion.[70][71]

Chevron considered a merger with rival ExxonMobil in 2020 during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic that drove oil demand sharply down. It would have been one of the biggest corporate mergers in history, and a combined Chevron and ExxonMobil would have been the second biggest oil company in the world.[72]

In August 2021, Chevron began requiring some employees, namely expatriate employees, those working overseas, and workers on U.S.-flagged ships, to receive COVID-19 vaccinations after having some key operations, the off-shore platforms off the Gulf of Mexico and Permian Basin for example. The requirement will begin for workers off the Gulf of Mexico on the first of November.[73][74]

On January 5, 2022, Chevron temporarily decreased production in Kazakhstan's Tengiz Field due to the 2022 Kazakh protests, which were motivated by heavy oil price increases.[75]

On January 21, 2022, Chevron announced it would end all operations in Myanmar, citing rampant human rights abuses and deteriorating rule of law since the 2021 Myanmar coup d'état.[76] A statement released by the company on its website stated while Chevron was committed to an orderly exit which ensures it can still provide energy to Southeast Asia, Chevron remains firmly opposed to the human rights violations committed by the current military rule in Myanmar.[77]

Also in January 2022, Chevron made headlines for placing an order for fully automated drones supplied by American Robotics, a subsidiary of Ondas Holdings. Chevron's order is Ondas' second order made by a Fortune 100 oil and gas company.[78]

A Reuters report released on February 21, 2022, alluded that Chevron was seeking to sell stakes in three fields located in Equatorial Guinea. Reuters reported that the sales may be intended to attract smaller oil companies.[79]

On February 28, 2022, Chevron announced that they will acquire Renewable Energy Group, a biodiesel production company based in Ames, Iowa.[80] The acquisition was completed almost 4 months later on June 13.[81]

On March 10, 2022, Chevron Phillips Chemical, a company jointly owned by Chevron and Phillips 66, agreed to pay $118 million as a result of violating the Clean Air Act at three of its chemical production plants in Texas. According to the United States' Department of Justice and Environmental Protection Agency, Chevron and Phillips failed to properly flare at the plants, causing excess air pollution. The companies agreed to add pollution control systems to the plants as well.[82]

In 2022, the major oil and gas companies, including Chevron,[83] reported sharp rises in interim revenues and profits.[84]

Corporate image

Logo evolution

The first logo featured the legend "Pacific Coast Oil Co.", the name adopted by the company when it was established in 1879. Successive versions showed the word 'Standard' (for "The Standard Oil of California"). In 1968, the company introduced the word 'Chevron' (which was introduced as a brand in the 1930s) for the first time in its logo. In July 2014, the Chevron Corporation logo design was officially changed, although it has been used since 2000. By 2015, the logo had been changed multiple times, with three different color schemes applied in the logo. The logo was gray, then blue, and then turned red before returning to the silver gray it is today.[85][86]


As of December 31, 2018, Chevron had approximately 48,600 employees (including about 3,600 service station employees). Approximately 24,800 employees (including about 3,300 service station employees), or 51 percent, were employed in U.S. operations.[88]

In October 2015, Chevron announced that it is cutting up to 7,000 jobs, or 11 percent of its workforce.[89] Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and 2020 Russia–Saudi Arabia oil price war, Chevron announced reductions of 10–15% of its workforce.[69]


Chevron's oil and gas exploration and production operations are primarily in the US, Australia, Nigeria, Angola, Kazakhstan, and the Gulf of Mexico. As of December 31, 2018, the company's upstream business reported worldwide net production of 2.930 million oil-equivalent barrels per day.[90]

A Chevron gas station in Diamondville, Wyoming (taken on May 27, 2018)
A Chevron gas station in Diamondville, Wyoming (taken on May 27, 2018)

In the United States, the company operates approximately 11,000 oil and natural gas wells in hundreds of fields occupying 4,000,000 acres (16,000 km2) across the Permian Basin, located in West Texas and southeastern New Mexico. In 2010, Chevron was the fourth-largest producer in the region.[91] In February 2011, Chevron celebrated the production of its 5 billionth barrel of Permian Basin oil.[92] The Gulf of Mexico is where the company's deepest offshore drilling takes place at Tahiti and Blind Faith. It also explores and drills the Marcellus Shale formation under several northeastern US states.

Chevron's largest single resource project is the $43 billion Gorgon Gas Project in Australia. It also produces natural gas from Western Australia. The $43 billion project was started in 2010, and was expected to be brought online in 2014.[93] The project includes construction of a 15 million tonne per annum liquefied natural gas plant on Barrow Island, and a domestic gas plant with the capacity to provide 300 terajoules per day to supply gas to Western Australia.[94] It is also developing the Wheatstone liquefied natural gas development in Western Australia. The foundation phase of the project is estimated to cost $29 billion; it will consist of two LNG processing trains with a combined capacity of 8.9 million tons per annum, a domestic gas plant and associated offshore infrastructure.[95] In August 2014 a significant gas-condensate discovery at the Lasseter-1 exploration well in WA-274-P in Western Australia, in which Chevron has a 50% interest was announced.[96] The company also has an interest in the North West Shelf Venture, equally shared with five other investors including BP, BHP Billiton Petroleum, Shell, Mitsubishi/Mitsui and Woodside.[97]

In the onshore and near-offshore regions of the Niger Delta, Chevron operates under a joint venture with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, operating and holding a 40% interest in 13 concessions in the region. In addition, Chevron operates the Escravos Gas Plant and the Escravos gas-to-liquids plant.[98]

Chevron has interests in four concessions in Angola, including offshore two concessions in Cabinda province, the Tombua–Landana development and the Mafumeira Norte project, operated by the company. It is also a leading partner in Angola LNG plant.[99][100]

In Kazakhstan, Chevron participate the Tengiz and Karachaganak projects.[101] In 2010, Chevron became the largest private shareholder in the Caspian Pipeline Consortium pipeline, which transports oil from the Caspian Sea to the Black Sea.[102]

As of 2013, the Rosebank oil and gas field west of Shetland was being evaluated by Chevron and its partners. Chevron drilled its discovery well there in 2004. Production is expected in 2015 if a decision is made to produce from the field. The geology and weather conditions are challenging.[103]


As of 2019, Chevron did not own significant midstream assets;[104] that year it attempted to purchase Anadarko Petroleum, which owned pipelines,[104] but was outbid by Occidental Petroleum.[105]


Chevron's downstream operations manufacture and sell products such as fuels, lubricants, additives and petrochemicals. The company's most significant areas of operations are the west coast of North America, the U.S. Gulf Coast, Southeast Asia, South Korea, Australia and South Africa. In 2010, Chevron sold an average of 3.1 million barrels per day (490×10^3 m3/d) of refined products like gasoline, diesel and jet fuel.[106] The company operates approximately 19,550 retail sites in 84 countries. The company also has interests in 13 power generating assets in the United States and Asia and has gas stations in Western Canada.[citation needed] Chevron owns the trademark rights to Texaco and Caltex fuel and lubricant products.[citation needed]

In 2010, Chevron processed 1.9 million barrels per day (300×10^3 m3/d) of crude oil.[106] It owns and operates Five active refineries in the United States (Richmond, CA, El Segundo, CA, Salt Lake City, UT, Pascagoula, MS, Pasadena, TX ). Chevron is the non-operating partner in seven joint venture refineries, located in Australia,[107] Pakistan,[108] Singapore, Thailand, South Korea, and New Zealand.[109] Chevron's United States refineries are located in Gulf and Western states. Chevron also owns an asphalt refinery in Perth Amboy, New Jersey; however, since early 2008 that refinery has primarily operated as a terminal.[110]

Chevron's chemicals business includes 50% ownership in the Chevron Phillips Chemical Company, which manufactures petrochemicals, and the Chevron Oronite Company (which develops, manufactures and sells fuel and lubricant additives).[111]

Chevron Chemical produced paraquat.[112]

Chevron Shipping Company, a wholly owned subsidiary, provides the maritime transport operations, marine consulting services and marine risk management services for Chevron Corporation.[citation needed] Chevron ships historically had names beginning with "Chevron", such as Chevron Washington and Chevron South America, or were named after former or serving directors of the company. Samuel Ginn, William E. Crain, Kenneth Derr, Richard Matzke and most notably Condoleezza Rice were among those honored, but the ship named after Rice was subsequently renamed as Altair Voyager.[113]

In 2015, Chevron sold its 50% stake in Caltex Australia, while allowing the company to continue using the Caltex brand. In 2019, Chevron announced it would re-enter the Australian market by purchasing Puma Energy's operations in the country.[114] The acquisition was completed in July 2020.[115][116] Chevron intends to use the Caltex brand in Australia by 2022, after the expiration of Caltex Australia's licence to use the Caltex brand.[117]

Alternative energy

Chevron's 500kW Solarmine photovoltaic solar project in Fellows, California
Chevron's 500kW Solarmine photovoltaic solar project in Fellows, California

Chevron's alternative energy operations include geothermal solar, wind, biofuel, fuel cells, and hydrogen.[118] In 2021 it significally increased its use of biofuel from dairy farms, like biomethane.[119]

Chevron has claimed to be the world's largest producer of geothermal energy.[55] The company's primary geothermal operations were located in Southeast Asia, but these assets were sold in 2017.[120][121][122][123]

Prior, Chevron operated geothermal wells in Indonesia providing power to Jakarta and the surrounding area. In the Philippines, Chevron also operated geothermal wells at Tiwi field in Albay province, the Makiling-Banahaw field in Laguna and Quezon provinces.[124]

In 2007, Chevron and the United States Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) started collaboration to develop and produce algae fuel, which could be converted into transportation fuels, such as jet fuel.[125] In 2008, Chevron and Weyerhaeuser created Catchlight Energy LLC, which researches the conversion of cellulose-based biomass into biofuels.[126] In 2013, the Catchlight plan was downsized due to competition with fossil fuel projects for funds.[127]

Between 2006 and 2011, Chevron contributed up to $12 million to a strategic research alliance with the Georgia Institute of Technology to develop cellulosic biofuels and to create a process to convert biomass like wood or switchgrass into fuels. Additionally, Chevron holds a 22% stake in Galveston Bay Biodiesel LP, which produces up to 110 million US gallons (420,000 m3) of renewable biodiesel fuel a year.[128][129]

In 2010, the Chevron announced a 740 kW photovoltaic demonstration project in Bakersfield, California, called Project Brightfield, for exploring possibilities to use solar power for powering Chevron's facilities. It consists of technologies from seven companies, which Chevron is evaluating for large-scale use.[130][131] In Fellows, California, Chevron has invested in the 500 kW Solarmine photovoltaic solar project, which supplies daytime power to the Midway-Sunset Oil Field.[132] In Questa, Chevron has built a 1 MW concentrated photovoltaic plant that comprises 173 solar arrays, which use Fresnel lenses.[133][134] In October 2011, Chevron launched a 29-MW thermal solar-to-steam facility in the Coalinga Field to produce the steam for enhanced oil recovery. As of 2012, the project is the largest of its kind in the world.[135]

In 2014, Chevron began reducing its investment in renewable energy technologies, reducing headcount and selling alternative energy-related assets.[136]

In 2015, the Shell Canada Quest Energy project was launched[137] of which Chevron Canada Limited holds a 20% share.[138] The project is based within the Athabasca Oil Sands Project near Fort McMurray, Alberta. It is the world's first CCS project on a commercial-scale.[137]

Corporate affairs


For the fiscal year 2011, Chevron reported earnings of US$26.9 billion, with an annual revenue of US$257.3 billion, an increase of 23.3% over the previous fiscal cycle. Chevron's shares traded at over $105 per share, and its market capitalization was valued at over US$240 billion.[139] As of 2018, Chevron is ranked No. 13 on the Fortune 500 rankings of the largest United States corporations by total revenue.[140]

Year Revenue[141]
in million US$
Net income[142]
in million US$
Price per Share
in US$
2005 198,200 14,099 47.89
2006 210,118 17,138 57.58
2007 220,904 18,688 63.07
2008 273,005 23,931 82.42
2009 171,636 10,483 84.90
2010 204,928 19,024 70.17
2011 253,706 26,895 78.13
2012 241,909 26,179 100.85
2013 228,848 21,423 107.55 64,600
2014 211,970 19,241 120.23 64,700
2015 138,477 4,587 120.51 61,500
2016 114,472 −0,497 96.36 55,200
2017 141,722 9,195 99.87 51,900
2018 166,339 14,824 111.45 48,600
2019 146,516 2,924 119.63 48,200
2020 94,692 −5,543 88.27 47,736
2021 162,465 15,625 104.21


Chevron tower in Houston
Chevron tower in Houston

Chevron's corporate headquarters are located in a 92-acre campus in San Ramon, California. The company moved there in 2002 from its earlier headquarters at 555 Market Street in San Francisco, California, the city where it had been located since its inception in 1879.[143] Chevron also operates from office towers in Houston, Texas, where it purchased 1500 Louisiana Street and 1400 Smith Street, the former headquarters of failed Texas energy giant Enron.[144] Chevron is also planning a new office tower in downtown Houston next to its existing properties at 1600 Louisiana Street.[145] The building will stand 50-stories and 832 feet. Upon completion, it will be the fourth tallest building in Houston and the first 50-story building constructed there in nearly 30 years.

Advertising and "Human Energy"

Chevron today is well known for its slogan "the human energy company", a campaign first launched in 2007. In a corporate blog, Chevron states "human energy" was chosen as their campaign's slogan and focus because "human energy captures our positive spirit in delivering energy to a rapidly changing world".[146]

Political contributions

Since January 2011 Chevron has contributed almost $15 million on Washington lobbying. On October 7, 2012, Chevron donated $2.5 million to the Republican Congressional Leadership Fund super PAC that is closely tied to former House Speaker John Boehner.[147]

According to watchdog group Documented, in 2020 Chevron contributed $50,000 to the Rule of Law Defense Fund, a fund-raising arm of the Republican Attorneys General Association.[148]

Board of directors

Condoleezza Rice is a former member of the board of directors, and also headed Chevron's committee on public policy until she resigned on January 15, 2001, to become National Security Advisor to President George W. Bush.

On September 30, 2009, John Watson, age 52, was elected chairman of the board and CEO, effective at the December 31, 2009 retirement of David J. O'Reilly.

In September 2017, Chevron announced Watson would retire on February 1, 2018, and vice-chairman Mike Wirth would be elevated to the role of chairman & CEO.[149]

Niger Delta Partnership Initiative

In 2010 Chevron established the Niger Delta Partnership Initiative (NDPI), a non-profit that works with local organizations to promote economic growth, reduce HIV transmission rates, and empower women. The Initiative was initially funded with a $50 million grant. An additional $40 million was donated in 2013.[150][151]


Environmental damage in Ecuador

Oil pollution in Lago Agrio, November 2007
Oil pollution in Lago Agrio, November 2007

Texaco and Gulf Oil began operating in the Oriente region of Ecuador in 1964 as a consortium.[152] Texaco operated the Lago Agrio oil field from 1972 to 1993 and the Ecuador state oil company continued to operate the same oil fields after Texaco left. In 1993, Texaco was found responsible for dumping billions of gallons of toxic waste and they spent $40m cleaning up the area during the 1990s. In 1998, the Ecuadorean government signed an agreement with Texaco accepting the clean-up as complete and absolving Texaco of any further responsibility. That same year, an Ecuadorean scientific team took water and soil samples after Texaco left and found petroleum hydrocarbons at unsafe levels in almost half. The clean up was called "a sham" by critics.[who?][153]

In 2003, a class action lawsuit against Chevron was filed in Ecuadorian court for $28 billion by indigenous residents, who accused Texaco of making residents ill and damaging forests and rivers by discharging 18 billion US gallons (68,000,000 m3) of formation water into the Amazon rainforest without any environmental remediation.[154][155][156][157][158] Chevron said that the company had completed cleanup of the pollution caused by Texaco, that current pollution was the result of activities of the Ecuadorian oil interests, and that the 1998 agreements with the Ecuadorian Government exempted the company from any liabilities.[159][160][161][162]

In 2011, Ecuadorian residents were awarded $8.6 billion, based on claims of loss of crops and farm animals as well as increased local cancer rates.[153][163][164] The plaintiffs said this would not be enough to make up for the damage caused by the oil company.[165] The award was later revised to $19 billion on appeals, which was then appealed again to the Ecuadorean National Court of Justice.[166] The action has been called the first time that indigenous people have successfully sued a multinational corporation in the country where the pollution took place.[153][163][165]

Chevron described the lawsuit as an "extortion scheme" and refused to pay the fine.[153]

In November 2013, the international arbitration tribunal issued a partial award in favor of Chevron and its subsidiary, Texaco Petroleum Company. The tribuna; found Chevron not liable for environmental claims in Ecuador.[167]

In March 2014, United States district court judge Lewis A. Kaplan[168] ruled that the Ecuadorian plaintiff's lead attorney, Steven Donziger, had used "corrupt means," including "coercion, bribery, money laundering and other misconduct," to obtain the 2011 court verdict in Ecuador. The judge did not rule on the underlying issue of environmental damages. While the US ruling does not affect the decision of the court in Ecuador, it has blocked efforts to collect damages from Chevron in US courts. Donziger appealed.[159][169][170] The appeals court ruled against Donziger because of his “egregious” misconduct, witness tampering, and judicial coercion and bribery, therefore reaffirming Donziger's disbarment.[171] Some media later alleged that Chevron had paid a key witness in the case hundreds of thousands of dollars for his testimony, which he later admitted to have been false.[172][173]

In April 2015, Amazon Watch released videos reportedly sent from a whistleblower inside Chevron. The videos purportedly show employees and consultants finding petroleum contamination at sites in the Ecuadorean Amazon that the company claimed was cleaned up years earlier. These videos were confirmed as legitimate by Chevron legal counsel.[174][non-primary source needed][dead link] According to the company, the videos show routine testing to establish the perimeter of oil pits. The company further stated that it is not possible to determine from the videos whether the sites shown are the responsibility of Chevron or its former partner, Petroecuador. According to Amazon Watch, the videos contain a map confirming that the sites are Chevron's, and contain footage of interviews with villagers known to live in the area for which Chevron is responsible.[175]

In September 2018, an international tribunal ruled in favor of Chevron Corp finding that Ecuador had violated its obligations under international treaties. The tribunal held that a $9.5 billion pollution judgment by Ecuador's Supreme Court against Chevron "was procured through fraud, bribery and corruption and was based on claims that had been already settled and released by the Republic of Ecuador years earlier." Ecuador's attorney general plans to appeal the tribunal's ruling saying, "It worries us that the tribunal is asking a country to lift a sentence of one of its courts that was issued as part of a dispute between private parties."[176]

Chevron continues to take oil from the Amazon region at large. El Segundo (CA), Pascagoula (MS), and Richmond (CA) refineries all process Amazonian oil. In 2015 El Segundo was the single largest refiner in the U.S. of Amazon Crude, processing 54,463 barrels per day.[177]

Oil spills in Angola

Chevron has been one of the largest offshore oil producers in Angola by volume.[178] Angola has a state-owned energy sector that partners with foreign corporations, including Chevron. Angola heavily relies on this foreign investment for economic growth.[179] These partnerships are part of bigger energy projects that have many incentives to use environmentally sound methods, and technology. Angola heavily relies on this foreign investment for economic growth.[179] These partnerships are part of bigger energy projects that have many incentives to use environmentally sound methods, and technology.[179] Despite this, Angola has experienced severe environmental problems from these projects, especially involving Chevron. A major Chevron oil spill occurred in 2002, which polluted beaches and contaminated the marine environment.[180] It also caused extensive harm to fishing in the region.[181] The cause of the spill was found to have been poor maintenance of pipelines.[180] Chevron promised to invest $180 million for new pipes, and the pipeline was shut down once the leaks were discovered.[182] Chevron's operations in Africa were criticized as environmentally unsound by 130 Nigerian researchers, journalists, and activists.[183] In 2002, Angola demanded $2 million in compensation for oil spills allegedly caused by Chevron, the first time it had fined a multinational corporation operating in its waters.[180]

United States refineries

U.S. Clean Air Act settlements following Hazardous Releases from Chevron Refineries

The United States Environmental Protection Agency, along with the United States Department of Justice, and the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality came to a settlement with Chevron for safety improvements for all its refineries in the United States due to claims of provisions of the Clean Air Act being violated by releasing hazardous chemicals.[184] The investigation by the EPA was initiated by a fire that occurred on August 6, 2012, that involved high-temperature hydrocarbons being released.[184] During the investigation in 2013, two other hazardous chemical related incidents happened at separate refineries, including an explosion and a fire in Pascagoula, Mississippi, and a rupture in El Segundo, California.[184] There were also claims made under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, and the Emergency Planning Community Right-to-Know Act, which were all resolved in the same settlement action.[184] This lawsuit was the first time the United States and a state has partnered to enforce these acts.[184] These settlements required improvements in refinery inspections and replacement of pipes at the Richmond, CA refinery, integrity operating windows, and better emergency prevention and response training for employees.[184]

Richmond, California refinery

The Richmond refinery paid $540,000 in 1998 for illegally bypassing waste water treatments and failing to notify the public about toxic releases.[185] Overall, Chevron is listed as potentially liable for 95 Superfund sites, with funds set aside by the EPA for clean-up.[186][unreliable source?]

A 1989 explosion and fire at the refinery[187] resulted in a $877,000 OSHA fine for "willfully failing to provide protective equipment for employees." Chevron employees had "repeatedly requested" protective equipment since the early 1980s but the company had refused despite more than 70 fires in the plant since 1984. Elizabeth Dole, the US Secretary of Labor, said: "OSHA's investigation makes clear that Chevron knew of the need for protective equipment and clothing."[188]

On March 25, 1999, an explosion and fire at the refinery spread noxious fumes and sent hundreds of Richmond residents to hospitals.[189]

On August 6, 2012, a large fire erupted at the refinery.[190][191] Initial reports estimated that 11,000 people sought treatment at area hospitals,[192] and later reports placed the number above 15,000 people.[193] The company pleaded no contest to six charges in connection with the fire, and agreed to pay $2 million in fines and restitution.[194] Around the same time the settlement was announced, the Richmond city council voted to file suit against Chevron. The reasons for the suit included "a continuation of years of neglect, lax oversight and corporate indifference to necessary safety inspection and repairs."[193]

NiMH battery technology for automobiles

Cobasys LLC was a supplier of nickel–metal hydride (NiMH) batteries, battery control systems, and packaged solutions for automotive applications, uninterruptable power supplies, telecommunications applications, and distributed power generation.[195] For eight years ending in 2009, Cobasys was a 50–50 joint venture between California-based Chevron Corporation and Michigan-based Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. (also called ECD Ovonics, ECD, or Ovonics)[196][197] The intermediary hierarchy of ownership was that Cobasys LLC was owned by Chevron's subsidiary Chevron Technology Ventures LLC, and ECD Ovonics' subsidiary Ovonic Battery Company.[198] Cobasys spent $180 million in funding from Chevron Technology Ventures, and the two owners were unable to agree on further funding of the company. After arbitration between the owners had stalled, a buyer was found. On July 14, 2009, the sale of Cobasys to SB LiMotive Co. Ltd., an electric vehicle battery joint venture between Samsung SDI Co. Ltd. and Robert Bosch GmbH, was announced.[199]

Sherry Boschert accused Chevron of limiting access to large NiMH batteries through its stake in Cobasys corporation and control of patent licenses to remove a competitor to gasoline. Cobasys filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Panasonic and Toyota over production of the EV-95 battery used in the Toyota RAV4 EV.[200][201] The case was settled with each company granting the other a license to its patents.[202] In her book, Plug-in Hybrids: The Cars that Will Recharge America, published in February 2007, Boschert argues that large-format NiMH batteries are commercially viable but that Cobasys refuses to sell the batteries or license the technology to small companies or individuals. Boschert argues that Cobasys accepts only very large orders for the batteries. Major automakers showed little interest in placing large orders for large-format NiMH batteries. However, Toyota complained about the difficulty in getting smaller orders of large format NiMH batteries to service the existing 825 RAV-4EVs. Because no other companies were willing to place large orders, Cobasys was not manufacturing or licensing large format NiMH battery technology for automobiles. Boschert concludes that "its possible that Cobasys (Chevron) is squelching all access to large NiMH batteries through its control of patent licenses in order to remove a competitor to gasoline. Or its possible that Cobasys simply wants the market for itself and is waiting for a major automaker to start producing plug-in hybrids or electric vehicles."[203] In an interview with The Economist, the ECD Ovonics founder Stan Ovshinsky disagreed, stating "Cobasys isn't preventing anything. Cobasys just needs an infusion of cash. They build a great battery."[204]

In October 2007, International Acquisitions Services and Innovative Transportation Systems filed suit against Cobasys and its parents for failure to fill an order for large-format NiMH batteries to be used in the electric Innovan.[205] In August 2008, Mercedes-Benz U.S. International filed suit against Cobasys, on the ground Cobasys did not tender the batteries it agreed to build for Mercedes-Benz's planned hybrid SUV.[206] The Mercedes suit was settled for $1.1 million.[199]

Niger Delta shootings

On May 28, 1998, activists staged a demonstration and took several individuals hostage on a company oil platform in the Niger Delta, Nigeria. Nigerian police and soldiers were allegedly flown in with Chevron helicopters.[207] Soldiers shot at the activists and subsequently two activists (Jola Ogungbeje and Aroleka Irowaninu) died from their wounds.[207] In 2007 U.S. District Judge Susan Illston, allowed a lawsuit brought by victims and victims' families against Chevron to proceed, saying that there may be evidence that Chevron had hired, supervised, and/or provided transportation to Nigerian military forces known for their "general history of committing abuses."[208] In December 2008, a federal jury cleared Chevron of all charges brought against them in the case. Chevron had stated that the military intervention was necessary to protect the lives of its workers and considers the jury's decision vindication for the accusations of wrongdoing.[209]

UN sanctions

According to US Embassy Cable BAGHDAD 000791 the Iraqi prime minister believed that Chevron was engaged in negotiations to invest in Iran in contravention of UN sanctions. The embassy related that it had no independent confirmation of this claim.[210] This document was intended to have been kept secret until 2029.[211]

Oil spill off the coast of Rio de Janeiro in 2011

The Campos Basin in Brazil is an important offshore oil reserve, and has been the site of extensive oil exploration and extraction since 1968.[212][213] This region also has geographic traits that make it prone to oil spills.[212] These traits include intense atmospheric conditions such as cyclones, and high velocity currents.[212] Oil spills from drilling platforms in shallow water causes high impacts on marine life, including bioaccumulation.[212] Due to these spills, there studies that show polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons contamination along the coast.[212] On November 8, 2011, Chevron came under fire by Brazilian authorities for its role in the spill of crude oil off of the southeastern coast of Brazil.[214] The Brazilian regulators said 416,400 liters of oil leaked over the course of two weeks from undersea rock near the well in the Frade oil project 370 km off the Brazilian coast.[215] Prosecutors in Brazil initially demanded $10.6bn in the subsequent lawsuit. This was Brazil's largest environmental prosecution to date.[216] The National Petroleum Agency (ANP) suspended Chevron's activities in Brazil until it identified the cause of an oil spill off the coast of Rio de Janeiro.[217]

The National Petroleum Agency later concluded that the spill did not cause significant economic damage, injured no one, and never approached Brazil's coast. Criminal charges were dropped and the lawsuits were settled for a total of $130 million.[218][219]

KS Endeavor explosion

The KS Endeavor jackup rig exploded on January 16, 2012, while drilling an exploration well for Chevron in the Funiwa field in Nigeria. The explosion resulted in the death of two of the 154 workers on board and a fire that burned for 46 days before the well was sealed on June 18. According to a Reuters news report, workers on the KS Endeavor were ignored by Chevron when they requested evacuation due to concerns of increasing smoke billowing from the drilling borehole. A senior worker said the blowout was triggered by a massive build-up of pressure. A witness said that rig engineers advised Chevron to stop drilling and evacuate staff but Chevron told them to continue with drilling. Expecting an explosion, the rig manager, one of the two that later died, kept the lifeboats at hand and ready for use. A witness reported: "This is the reason so many of us survived because we were all aware that it was going to happen, but just didn't know when." In an email response to Reuters, Chevron said it did not receive requests to evacuate the rig and that staff on board had the right to call a halt to work if they believed conditions were unsafe.[220][221]

Polish gas exploration

Chevron has experienced protests aimed at the company by local communities in Southern Poland when they started gas exploration in the region. Their complaint is that Chevron did not provide all of the documents required for gas exploration in Poland, and that the company has not promised to share a percentage of the revenues with the local landholders. The landholders of the region view Chevron's presence in the region negatively since they may be forced to sell their properties at a low cost if gas is discovered in the region. As well, potential environmental disasters are a concern for local farmers. Another of the residents' primary concerns is water pollution from the chemicals used in fracking. In response to some of the protests, Chevron has sued some of the protesters from Żurawlów for disrupting their operations.[222]

According to gas and oil expert Andrzej Szczesniak, one of the main reasons for the protest is the difference between Polish and American law. In the USA property owners typically receive 15–20% from the income of gas exploration. In Poland, the discovery of gas on private property usually results in a forced sale of the property, with the owner receiving only the prior value of the land and no percentage of the gas revenue. This is the result of outdated, Communist Era laws that are still on the books and which are often exploited by municipal governments if they can get a 'kick back' from a larger company.[223][224]

Argentina agreement and protests

After the 2012 decision of the Argentine government to regain control of the biggest oil company of the country, YPF, the search for foreign investors for exploitation of unconventional oil started. Finally in 2013, YPF and Chevron signed an agreement for the Vaca Muerta oil field, the world's second-largest shale gas deposit. In August 2013, the Congress of Neuquén province approved the agreement, while between 5,000[225][226] and 10,000[227] workers, students and indigenous people protested outside the legislature. Police fired rubber bullets, hitting some protesters.[225] Governor Jorge Sapag defended the police actions: "The march was generally peaceful, but about 100 people separated from the rest and attacked the police. The police acted with seriousness and professionalism."[228]

Public Eye Lifetime Award

In 2015, Chevron received the Lifetime Award of the Public Eye on Davos for what the sponsors called Chevron's responsibility for environmental disaster in the Amazon.[229] The same group cited the company in 2006 in the category "Environment" for oil soiling in the Amazonas in Ecuador.[230] A Chevron spokesperson commented that the award was "nothing more than a stunt to distract attention from the fact that the lawsuit against Chevron in Ecuador has been proven to be meritless and the product of unprecedented fraud" and pointed to a U.S. court finding that the plaintiff's lawyers had committed "mail and wire fraud, money laundering, witness tampering and obstruction of justice."[231] That controversial RICO case is under appeal and has been criticized by environmental and human rights groups.[232]

Global warming and carbon footprint

In a letter Chevron Corp. argued that under current disclosure rules companies are already required to disclose material risks including climate-change risk, during part of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's consultation process, noting that its "2015 Form 10-K included a significant discussion of the potential risks of additional greenhouse gas emissions regulation following the outcome of the Paris Accord."[233]

Chevron was found to have contributed 43.35bn tonnes of CO2 equivalent since 1965 in an analysis made by the Climate Accountability Institute.[234]

Chevron reported Total CO2e emissions (Direct + Indirect) for the twelve months ending 31 December 2020 at 58,000 Kt (-6,000 /-9.4% y-o-y).[235]

Chevron's annual Total CO2e Emissions - Market-Based Scope 1 + Scope 2 (in kilotonnes)
Dec 2014 Dec 2015 Dec 2016 Dec 2017 Dec 2018 Dec 2019 Dec 2020
61,000[236] 61,000[237] 67,000 66,000 69,000 64,000 58,000[235]

In October 2021 the company adopted an aspirational net zero target by 2050 and pledged to cut the overall carbon intensity of its products by 5%, by 2028 including scope 3 emissions. A group of investors demanded from the company to cut emissions and said in response to the announcement: " Rather than a 5% reduction in Scope 3 intensity, absolute emissions need to come down by 40% by 2030 to have any chance of achieving the 2016 Paris Agreement"[238]

Chevron and computer games

In the summer of 1992, Maxis, the creators of SimCity, started a division within their company called Maxis Business Simulations (MBS), which was responsible for making serious professional simulations that looked and played like Maxis games. The first project for MBS was to make a game about an oil refinery for Chevron, eventually named SimRefinery. Since oil refineries are incredibly complicated process plants, Chevron wanted Maxis to make them a game like SimCity, as a training tool to teach employees at their oil refinery in Richmond, California how the refinery worked. SimRefinery was finished in the fall of 1992 and handed over to Chevron. While Chevron's training specialists praised the game's training effectiveness, SimRefinery did not get widespread use within the company and was eventually discontinued.[239] In June 2020, a working copy of SimRefinery was recovered and uploaded to the Internet Archive, giving the public their first chance to play the historic game.[240]

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