Barron’s — For Chevron, It Could Be a Happy New Year

Oil exploration and production contributed 86% of Chevron’s profit in 2008, and crude accounted for two-thirds of the company’s 11.2 billion barrels of oil-equivalent reserves at the end of that year. At rival ConocoPhillips (COP: 52.85*, +0.22, +0.41%), oil accounted for 59% of total reserves, and at industry leader ExxonMobil (XOM: 70.25*, +0.83, +1.19%), it’s 49%, now that Exxon has agreed to acquire XTO Energy (XTO: 48.12*, +0.45, +0.94%), a producer of natural gas. Chevron also has one of the industry’s better exploration-growth profiles.

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