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    ChevronTexaco to Cut Spending

    Company hurt by merger-related costs and oil prices.


    SAN FRANCISCO -- After reporting huge losses last quarter, Chevron Texaco Corp. said it would reduce capital spending this year by 22 percent from 2001, due mainly to merger-related efficiencies.

    The number-two U.S. oil company, created last year from Chevron's $38-billion acquisition of Texaco, announced a $9.4-billion capital spending program for 2002, down from $12 billion last year. After adjusting for acquisitions, divestitures and lease buybacks, the 2002 capital spending program is about 9 percent lower than in 2001, the company said in a statement.

    ChevronTexaco, which ranks behind industry leader Exxon Mobil Corp., said it would invest 65 percent of the 2002 budget in worldwide exploration and production. The company said it expects to reduce exploration expenses by $300 million in 2002 from pre-merger levels.

    Last month, ChevronTexaco, which operates more than 3,700 convenience stores, posted a fourth-quarter loss of $2.52 billion, hurt by merger-related costs and oil prices that have crumbled in the last year.

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