UPDATE 1-Chevron Q2 earnings drop on cheaper oil, maintenance
Aug 2 (Reuters) - Chevron Corp posted a larger-than-expected decline in quarterly profit on Friday as a fall in oil prices knocked oil and gas production earnings and its U.S. refining unit slowly recovered from a refinery fire a year ago. Second-quarter net income fell 26 percent to $5.37 billion, or $2.77 per share, from $7.21 billion, or $3.66 per share, a year earlier. Analysts, on average, expected $2.96 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company produced 2.58 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, down from 2.62 million bpd a year earlier. The company is targeting 2.65 million bpd for this year, and growth of 25 percent in output by 2017. In the second quarter, Chevron's exploration and production earnings from outside the United States fell 10 percent to $3.87 billion, with operating expenses higher and the average sale price for liquids down to $94 per barrel, from $99 a year before. U.S. earnings from refining and marketing declined more than 83 percent, with refinery crude input falling by 114,000 barrels per day to 814,000 bpd, mainly due to the fire at its Richmond, California, plant last August. The damaged unit there started up in April. Chevron shares fell 1 percent to $125.06 in pre-market trading on Friday.