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Chevron profit dips

Chevron Corp (CVX-N), the second-largest U.S. oil company, posted weaker-than-expected quarterly profit of $3.8 billion US Friday, hurt by lower production and higher expenses in the United States.

Third-quarter net income fell to $3.77 billion, or $1.87 per share, from $3.83 billion, or 1.92 per share, a year before, when the company's earnings were boosted by asset sales.

Analysts had expected a profit of $2.15 per share, according to the average on Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue rose 7 percent to $49.72 billion. On Thursday, larger rivals Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell Plc both posted profits that were higher than analysts' expectations.

Chevron's global output in the quarter rose 1 percent to 2.74 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe) per day, largely due to increases in Thailand and Brazil, but its U.S. production fell 7 percent, or 53,000 boe per day, to 692,000 boe per day.
The company said that U.S. output drop was due to “normal field declines” and downtime for maintenance and repairs.

Costs in the United States were higher because of the deepwater drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico following BP Plc's blowout that caused the country's worst-ever marine oil spill.
Profit from the company's downstream arm, which includes its refineries, more than doubled to $565 million in the

At about $76.50 a barrel, benchmark U.S. oil prices averaged more than 12 percent higher than in the same quarter last year, but they were down from $78 in the second quarter.

Chevron shares are up 10 percent so far this year, while the Chicago Board Options Exchange's oil company index - which includes BP's battered shares - are down 1 percent in 2010.

Chevron, based in San Ramon, California, had said earlier this month it would resume quarterly share buybacks of up to $1 billion after a pause of nearly two years. CTV Two CTV News CTV News Channel BNN - Business News Network CP24