US oil giant Chevron has reported a loss of $588 million for fourth quarter 2015, compared with earnings of $3.5 billion in the 2014 fourth quarter.

Foreign currency effects increased earnings in the 2015 quarter by $46 million, compared with an increase of $432 million a year earlier, the company said in a statement.

Full-year 2015 earnings were $4.6 billion compared with $19.2 billion in 2014.

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Sales and other operating revenues in fourth quarter 2015 were $28 billion, compared to $42 billion in the year-ago period, the statement also said.

“Our 2015 earnings were down significantly from the previous year, reflecting a nearly 50 percent year-on-year decline in crude oil prices,” said Chairman and CEO John Watson.

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“We’re taking significant action to improve earnings and cash flow in this low price environment,” Watson stated. “Operating expenses and capital spending were reduced $9 billion in 2015 from 2014, and I expect similarly large reductions again in 2016. In addition, asset sales proceeds were $6 billion in 2015, with additional sales planned for 2016 and 2017.”

He added: “Improved refinery reliability allowed us to capture the benefits of a favorable margin environment and post excellent downstream results for the year.

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“We continued to reshape the downstream portfolio with well-timed asset sales and good progress on petrochemical investments. We advanced our upstream major capital projects.

“We had first production from two deepwater projects in Africa, and ramped up production from Jack/St. Malo in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico and our shale and tight resources in the Permian Basin.”

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Watson commented that the company added approximately 1.02 billion barrels of net oil equivalent proved reserves in 2015. These additions, which are subject to final reviews, equate to approximately 107 percent of net oil-equivalent production for the year.

The largest additions were from production entitlement effects in several locations and drilling results for the Permian Basin in the United States and the Wheatstone Project in Australia, he said.

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