Chevron Boosts Gulf Operations

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Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, is ramping up its Gulf of Mexico operations to take advantage of higher oil prices. The company is targeting a production increase of 1% this year to 2.79 million barrels of oil equivalent per day with an eye toward daily production of 3.3 million barrels per day by 2017, according to the Wall Street Journal.

In the Gulf, Chevron's Tahiti platform, which is about 200 miles south of New Orleans, is currently producing 109,000 barrels per day. Chevron is concerned about the sluggish pace that it is considering contracting more drilling ships than it originally intended in order to meet its 2013 deadlines for the Tahiti expansion, the Journal reported.

The company is also planning to start the massive Big Foot and Jack/St. Malo fields in 2014. Chevron (CVX) has acknowledged it may have to bring more drillships into the Gulf to meet its ambitious production schedule. The California-based company declined to say how many rigs it might add in the Gulf.

Chevron has approximately 15 drilling permit applications pending approval elsewhere in the Gulf, according to the Journal.

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