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: Chevron OKs ‘low end’ $15 billion capital budget, increases share buyback program

Chevron Corp. late Wednesday unveiled a “low end” $15 billion capital and exploratory budget for 2022 and said it expects to increase its share buyback program thanks to an “enduring commitment to capital discipline.”

Chevron stock

rose less than 1% in after-hours trading after ending the regular trading day down 0.7%.

The energy giant said the $15 billion blueprint was at the low end of guidance between $15 and $17 billion, and up more than 20% from 2021 expected levels.

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“This capital program supports Chevron’s objective of higher returns and lower carbon, including approximately $800 million in lower carbon spending,” the company said.

Chief Executive Mike Wirth said the capital budget “reflects Chevron’s enduring commitment to capital discipline.” The company is sizing the program consistent “with plans to sustain and grow the company as the global economy continues to recover,” he said.

Chevron also raised its share buyback guidance to a range between $3 billion and $5 billion a year, compared with a previous guidance of a range between $2 billion and $3 billion.

“We’re a better company than we were just a few years ago. We’re more capital and cost efficient, guided by a clear and consistent objective to deliver higher returns and lower carbon,” enabling the company to return more cash to shareholders, Wirth said.

Chevron shares have gained 34% this year, compared with gains of around 20% for the S&P 500 index.

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