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Cartoon Of the Month

Chevron envisions its Permian Basin future to look like this on the left, the area where all of its growth will come from the Delaware Basin.

The Texas Delaware Basin has actually been in decline since 2020, particularly Reeves County. CVX's biggest chunks of land lie in Eddy and Culberson Counties where it is very gassy. Yellow, by the way, in the map below, is now Oxy stuff they bought from Anadarko for all the money Ben Gump ever had. I personally don't see that Chevron has the acreage in the Texas Delaware to do what it thinks it can do.

By the way, Warren Buffett loves Blue Horseshoe, check that, loves Oxy's position in the Delaware Basin, next door to all of Chevron's should see how Oxy well quality has declined.

Alas, another story, that. [1]

Chevron's liquids well quality in the Texas side of the Permian was down 27% YOY 2022. It holds lots acreage in the Permian Basin, over 2.2 million acres, and a lot of that stuff has 1/8th royalty burdens, or less where Chevron owns mineral interests. The difference in 25% royalty burdens and 1/8th are an enormous benefit to well economics particularly with the stroke Chevron has on service providers and the potential for economy of scale. But I never realized how much of that 2.2 MM acres has in skinny goat pasture. Above, I've circled the most productive core of the Delaware Basin.

Both CEO's of Chevron and Exxon implied in 2017 that their respective companies were going to kick- ass and take names in the Permian Basin. [2]

So far, not so good.

In the Delaware Basin of New Mexico Chevron's well productivity was down 29% in 2022 from a high in 2020. In New Mexico it has a big block in Eddy County that should be rockin.' It ain't.

CVX pre-disclosed its 2Q23 earnings a couple of Sunday afternoons ago. Odd that. It suggested its 2Q2023 Permian production is 770K BOEPD (watch out for dem BOE's!) up 11% over guidance...which it reduced 35% before the quarter even started. It says it can get to 1 MM BOEPD and hold that until 2040, or something to that effect.

I am not a financial analyst nor a shale oil analyst, just a dumb ass roughneck from Flatonia who will take the under on that bet.

Above is Exxon acreage in the Permian Basin. Its biggest footprint is also in a very gassy part of Eddy County in the Delaware Basin of New Mexico. This is Bone Springs country, and potash country. Exxon bought a big piece of Eddy County in 2017 from BOPCO (Bass) for 6.6 large. then promptly declared itself the leader in the Permian Basin and promised 1,000,000 BOEPD by 2024. Remember, please, the E in BOE is a big deal in Eddy County.

Exxon's wells sucked the first four years it was in the tight oil biz. In 2023, over the entire Permian, it finally looks like it found a little secret and its 2023 well productivity is way up, at least in Texas, where the data set is very small.

Exxon has big enough partially developed blocks to drill long laterals and make IP's, six and twelve month production profiles look monstrous. I will be watching to see how quickly these big 2023 Exxon Texas wells nose dive.

In New Mexico Exxon is doing about the same as it has done as far as liquids productivity; its gas volumes are headed for the moon.

These tight oil boys like the term BOE when describing guidance for the future. At 6 mcf to 1 BO, a lot of it flared, the "associated oil" so light it's near impossible to make anything usable out of it, anybody bragging about BOE is not being very upfront with you.

Like Harold Hamm. He's on record last week as saying on a BTU basis (BOE) American is energy independent. So, there you go! By the way, have you ever seen a Sky Truth satellite map of flaring in North Dakota. Wow! That E up there is NA, for not applicable. Apparently Harold has got a big bronze statue of a bull in the lobby of his building in Oklahoma City. He named it 'BOE.'

In 2022, realizing it wasn't going to reach its 1 MM BOEPD guidance by 2024, Exxon downgraded that to 700,000 BOEPD by 2025. Exxon keeps lowering its bar.

I have no vested interest in either one of these corporations and don't care one way or another how many billions they make per quarter. All those promises each of Chevron and Exxon have made will simply be exported away from the US anyway, gas and oil.

The far better contest between these two giants would be to see who could keep more American oil in America, for Americans.


[1] Oxy in Reeves County since its Anadarko buy in 2019. But you sic 'em Warren. You 'da man!

[2] Darren Woods made $36MM in compensation for Exxon in 2022 and Mike Wirth $25.6MM for Chevron. It pays to make big promises.


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