ChevronTexaco Corp. set new records in the fourth quarter, nearly doubling net income from a year ago and beating analyst expectations. However, natural gas and oil output fell 9% globally, and most of the losses were blamed on U.S. asset sales and Hurricane Ivan shut-ins.

Quarterly net income rose 98%, to $3.4 billion ($1.63/share), from $1.7 billion (82 cents) in 4Q2003. Revenue rose 41%, to $42.7 billion from $30.3 billion. Thomson First Call analysts had pegged income at $1.40/share. For 2004, net income rose 84%, to $13.3 billion ($6.28/share), up from $7.2 billion ($3.48) in 2003. Annual revenue rose 28%, to $155.3 billion from $121.3 billion.

The company did not detail its reserves replacement figures on Friday. During a conference call with analysts, CEO Dave O’Reilly said the company is still working on the numbers.

He said he expects the “2004 reserves-replacement rate to be low” because the company hasn’t had a “major project that has matured in the past year” to significantly boost reserves. However, O’Reilly also pointed to the sale of some producing assets and production-sharing contracts, which books proportionately less new reserves in a shared project as the price of oil rises.

U.S. exploration and production income of $959 million in the fourth quarter increased $238 million from 4Q2003. Partially offsetting the benefit of higher prices between quarters were the effects of lower production and repair costs from Hurricane Ivan that occurred in September 2004.

Net oil-equivalent production in the United States declined about 20%, or 175,000 boe/d, from 4Q2003. The net liquids component of production was down 17% to 454,000 boe/d. Net natural gas production averaged 1.6 Bcf/d, down 23%. Excluding the lower production attributable to property sales and the effect of hurricanes, net oil-equivalent production otherwise declined about 7%.

This decrease in U.S. output “resulted mainly from normal field declines, which were only partially offset by new or increased production in certain fields,” the company said in a statement. When adjusted for property sales and hurricanes, net liquids declined 5% and net natural gas production declined 10%.

Damages from Hurricane Ivan are expected to restrict oil-equivalent production in 1Q2005 by approximately 35,000 boe/d. Based on current projections, most of the remaining shut-in production will be restored by the second quarter.

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