SAN RAMON, Calif., Jan. 30 (UPI) -- Chevron Corp. said Friday it became the latest casualty of a weak oil market, announcing fourth quarter profits were down 30 percent year-on-year.
"Our 2014 earnings were down from the previous year, largely due to the sharp decline in crude oil prices," Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Watson said in an announcement of fourth quarter earnings.
Fourth quarter earnings of $3.5 billion represented a 30 percent decline year-on-year. Full year 2014 earnings were $19.2 billion, compared with $21.4 billion the previous year.
Oil prices are off more than 15 percent since the start of the year and down more than half from June 2014 peaks. The price slump has forced many international energy companies, and those in secondary industries like steel, to cut their spending and staff for 2015.
U.S. energy company Occidental Petroleum and Dutch supermajor Royal Dutch Shell announced setbacks in their 2015 forecasts when disclosing their fourth quarter reports Thursday.
Chevron, like many of its counterparts, said it was optimistic about developments in the offshore sector. In early January, it announced what it said was a "significant" oil discovery at the Anchor prospect in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Output last year was supported in part by the Jack/St. Malo and Tubular Bells prospects in the same region.
Globally, Chevron said net production during the fourth quarter was unchanged from the same period in 2013.