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Chevron: Higher Oil to Help Profit, Refineries to Hurt

Chevron said on Thursday it expects second-quarter earnings from its exploration and production operations to rise on higher oil and gas prices, but will be offset somewhat by a loss at its refining and marketing business.

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The second-largest U.S. oil company, which posted a profit of about $252 million from its refining and marketing business in the first quarter, said it expects that number to fall "well in excess'' of $500 million in the second quarter.

It said those operations were hurt by planned and unplanned maintenance at its refineries, higher operating expenses and the accounting impact of rapidly rising crude oil prices.

Chevron also said its production in the first two months in the quarter fell about 2 percent from first quarter levels to 2.54 million barrels of oil equivalent per day.

It said its U.S. oil prices over those months rose more than 20 percent from first-quarter levels to an average of $109.19 per barrel. Its average international price for liquid hydrocarbons was $106.14 per barrel in April and May, up from $86.13 in the first quarter.

Chevron shares closed up $2.34, or 2.5 percent, at $96.25 on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday.