Operating earnings from exploration and production rose 53 percent to $1.26 billion.
The average price Chevron received for its crude oil in the United States rose 33 percent to $28.75 a barrel, compared with the fourth quarter of 1999. The average price it received for its natural gas in the United States more than doubled to $5.86 per thousand cubic feet.
Chevron said its "downstream" refining and marketing business, which transforms crude oil into marketable products such as gasoline, posted operating earnings of $336 million, versus a loss of $6 million in the fourth quarter of 1999.
Results from the U.S. downstream business rebounded in the second half of the year as refined product price increases offset the higher costs of higher crude oil feedstocks.
In the fourth quarter Chevron benefited from improved reliability of its U.S. West Coast refineries and stronger margins for jet fuel, diesel fuel and motor gasoline.
Outside the United States, results of Chevron's refining and marketing joint venture with Texaco, Caltex, remained depressed as tough competition in the Asia-Pacific area dampened marketing margins.
Chevron's earnings excluding special items for the whole of 2000 rose to $5.44 billion from $2.29 billion in 1999.
Chairman and Chief Executive Dave O'Reilly said 2000 had been the most profitable year in the company's history, with Chevron earning a return on capital employed of 22 percent.
O'Reilly said Chevron had significantly strengthened its balance sheet in 2000, reducing its debt by $2.7 billion and buying back $1.4 billion of its common shares. BACK TO TOP
High Oil Prices Fuel Success at Texaco
Texaco, the No. 3 U.S. oil company, said today fourth-quarter income more than doubled, beating Wall Street estimates, aided by high crude oil and natural gas prices.
White Plains, N.Y.-based Texaco, which is being acquired by Chevron, said fourth-quarter income before special items rose to $840 million, or $1.55 per share, from $370 million, or 67 cents a share, in the same period a year ago.
Analysts on average were forecasting earnings of $1.51 a share, according to First Call/Thomson Financial, which tracks estimates. Revenues for Texaco rose to $14.4 billion from $10.6 billion a year ago.
Texaco, along with other major oil companies, benefited during the quarter from a run-up in crude oil and natural gas prices to some of the highest levels seen in a decade.
Net income for the period was $545 million, up from $318 million a year ago.
While its daily production fell by 12 percent in the fourth-quarter and 10 percent for the year, partly due to sales of properties, Texaco's exploration and production business still turned in sharply higher results than a year ago.
U.S exploration and production income before special items rose to $547 from $243 million in the corresponding period last year, Texaco said. International income from the same business rose to $271 million from $195 million a year ago.
Before special items, its refining and marketing business also posted better results, helped by stronger profit margins on fuels such as gasoline and heating oil.
But its refining and marketing business will likely go through dramatic changes, particularly in the United States, when it completes its merger with Chevron, announced last year.