Chevron Corporation may sell some refineries and parts of its fuel businesses, according to John Watson, the company’s executive vice president of strategy and development. He is

reported to have made the comments during a presentation to an energy conference in New York earlier this week. Watson said that the company wanted to focus on higher-profit ventures such as natural-gas production offshore Australia and oil developments in the Gulf of Mexico and West Africa.

He added: “It’s shaping up to be a difficult year for the refining business. The margin environment has been relatively weak.”


Watson said that Chevron planned to continue offloading petrol stations and retail fuel-distribution networks in low-profit markets. And that getting rid of these parts of the business would reduce annual operating costs by $700 million.

He told the conference that Chevron’s “refining rationalisation has been somewhat more limited” than sales of retail outlets. On refining, he said: “There are some possibilities but I’m not going to speculate on what they could be.”

A Chevron UK spokesman said that Watson had been speaking about the company’s worldwide business, and that “as part of that we are looking at our refineries across the globe to make sure we are in the right place at the right time”.

Regarding the UK, he said: "It’s business as usual."