Daily Management Review

Chevron CFO Says Inflated Oil Prices Unlikely To Last For Long


Chevron CFO Says Inflated Oil Prices Unlikely To Last For Long
According to Chevron's chief financial officer, high oil prices are unlikely to last for long.
"This feels more cyclical than structural," Pierre Breber, the CFO of Chevron, the No. 2 oil company of the United States, said in a phone interview to CNN.
"We view these prices as above mid-cycle and above what our price assumptions would be."
For the first time in seven years, US crude oil surpassed $85 a barrel.
According to AAA, nationwide gas prices have risen to $3.40 per gallon. In Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Colorado, drivers are spending moreover $3.50 a gallon on average, with Nevada and Washington is close to $4.
Despite discussion of an oil "supercycle," in which prices stay above their long-term trend for a protracted period of time, Breber is doubtful that prices would stay around $80 to $100 for years.
"We expect markets to rebalance over time," Breber said, adding that it's "very hard" to predict oil prices.
Noting crude's historic drop below zero in April 2020, the Chevron executive said that when in the commodity market, supply and demand often go out of whack.
"We're seeing the reverse now," he said.
Chevron had a $6.1 billion profit in the third quarter, boosted by rising oil prices. Chevron's profit is the highest it's been in eight years. The company's free cash flow hit a new high of $6.7 billion.
ExxonMobil notched up a $6.8 billion profit after losing $680 million in the same quarter the previous year. The performance of Exxon Mobil has also surprised its investors as the company announced a $10 billion share repurchase program.
This year, the price of natural gas prices has increased by more than double, and reaching its highest level since 2008 recently.
It is expected that expenses for heating homes will skyrocket, which will add to the already high cost of living and rising inflation fears.
When asked what he would say to regular Americans who are dealing with high energy costs, Breber cited Chevron's efforts to increase supply, citing a 7 percent increase in output from a year earlier.
"We are investing. We are growing our production," Breber told CNN. "I have a lot of empathy for high energy costs, particularly for lower-income people. It's a bigger part of their budget."
This is an issue that policymakers have to tackle, Breber added.
"It's for government and others to help ameliorate any impacts on individuals," he said.
The quarterly earnings of Chevron were announced a day after business leaders from the US oil sector, including Chevron CEO Michael Wirth, were quizzed by lawmakers over their involvement in the climate change problem.
Carolyn Maloney, the chairwoman of the House Oversight Committee, said she intends to issue subpoenas to oil firms and trade groups for accessing important records that they have not given over willingly
"We have been working diligently to collect and produce the documents the committee requested," Chevron spokesperson Braden Reddall said.