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    Chevron CEO Touts Record-High Earnings

    Safety and exploratory initiatives on tap for the oil company this year.

    SAN RAMON, Calif. -- During Chevron Corp.'s 2008 annual meeting of stockholders earlier this week, Chairman and CEO Dave O'Reilly reported the company achieved another year of record earnings.

    "We are delivering on our commitments and moving in the right direction," O'Reilly said in a released statement. "We have the right strategies to create a strong platform for long-term growth and to deliver value to our stockholders."

    O'Reilly pointed to the company's approach to new technologies, which has allowed for a new stance on how, where and how much energy Chevron can produce. For example, Chevron's technology leadership in sour natural gas, an initiative that led to a new working relationship with the China National Petroleum Corporation, O'Reilly noted. The two companies are currently developing the Chuandongbei natural gas area in central China.

    Last year, Chevron opened two new global technology centers to expand its research and development capability and established alliances with government and academic institutions to pursue technology to convert nonfood sources into commercially viable biofuels, O'Reilly said.

    Vice chairman of the board, Peter Robertson, underscored Chevron's strong financial performance in 2007. The company's net income of $18.7 billion in 2007 represented the fourth consecutive year of record earnings, he stated.

    "Our strong earnings and cash flows are enabling us to return cash to our stockholders through dividends and stock buybacks and to fund a robust capital program," Robertson said in a released statement. "In 2007, we repurchased seven billion dollars of our common shares and increased our quarterly dividend by 11.5 percent. And last month, we announced a 12.1 percent quarterly dividend increase for 2008, the 21st consecutive year Chevron will have increased its annual dividend rate."

    Safety issues remain a paramount concern, said Roberts. "I am very proud that in 2007 we continued improving our safety performance. We are closing in on our goal to be the industry leader," he said.

    In 2008, Chevron will invest $23 billion in its exploratory program, a 15 percent increase form last year. Robertson explained that approximately 75 percent of this year's budget is earmarked for worldwide crude oil and natural gas exploration and production projects, with another 20 percent dedicated to the company's downstream businesses that manufacture, transport and sell gasoline, diesel fuel and other refined products.

    George Kirkland, executive vice president, Global Upstream and Gas, noted that in 2007 Chevron added approximately 1 billion barrels of new oil-equivalent resources to its portfolio. "Production and reserves growth begins with exploration success," Kirkland said in a released statement. "Over the past six years, our exploration program has achieved a success rate of 45 percent."

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