Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX) today reported earnings of $6.2 billion ($3.18 per share – diluted) for the first quarter 2013, compared with $6.5 billion ($3.27 per share – diluted) in the 2012 first quarter.

Sales and other operating revenues in the first quarter 2013 were $54 billion, down from $59 billion in the year-ago period, mainly due to lower prices for crude oil.

“Our first quarter earnings were strong,” said Chairman and CEO John Watson. “Our consistent financial performance has enabled us to significantly increase the dividend again, and fund major development projects that are the foundation of the company’s future growth in production, earnings and cash flows.”

“Our key development projects remain on track,” Watson added. “Construction is progressing well on the Gorgon and Wheatstone LNG projects in Australia. Important milestones have been reached recently for our Jack/St. Malo and Big Foot deepwater projects in the Gulf of Mexico, and both remain on schedule for start-up in 2014.”

Other recent upstream milestones include:

•Australia – Signed binding long-term Sales and Purchase Agreements with Chubu Electric Power Company for Wheatstone LNG. More than 80 percent of Chevron’s equity LNG offtake from Wheatstone is covered under long-term agreements.

•Australia – Reached agreement to acquire interests in two onshore natural gas blocks in the Cooper Basin.

•Australia – Announced a natural gas discovery, Elfin-1, in the Carnarvon Basin in 50 percent-owned Block WA-268-P.

•Republic of the Congo – Reached final investment decision on the deepwater Moho Nord joint development.

•United States – Announced a crude oil discovery at the Coronado prospect in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.

•United States – Announced a successful production test of a St. Malo well in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.

The company’s Board of Directors approved an 11.1 percent increase in the quarterly dividend, to $1.00 per share, payable in June 2013. The company purchased $1.25 billion of its common stock in the first quarter 2013 under its share repurchase program.

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