Chevron said its net income for the fourth quarter ending in December last year fell by 37% due to low crude oil and natural gas prices and losses in the refining and marketing business.

The company’s net income for 2009 recorded a steep fall of 56%.

Chevron chairman and CEO John Watson said that profit in 2009 declined because of lower crude oil and natural gas prices, and a fall in refined product sales margins pushed by a weak global economy.

Chevron’s Q4 net income amounted to $3.07bn in Q4 2009, a 37% fall compared with $4.90bn in Q4 2008.

The company’s earnings for the full year 2009 totalled $10.48bn, a 56% drop compared with $23.93bn in 2008.

Chevron’s global net oil-equivalent production for Q4 2009 was 2.78 million barrels per day, representing a 9.4% increase compared with 2.54 million barrels per day in Q4 2008.

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By GlobalData

Full year net oil-equivalent output in 2009 rose by 7% to 2.70 million barrels per day compared with 2.53 million barrels per day in 2008.

“In fourth quarter 2009, earnings in our upstream business benefited from higher crude oil prices than in the same quarter in 2008,” said Watson.

Watson reported that net oil-equivalent production for the quarter was over 9% higher than in the 2008 quarter, driven by new production from several of our major capital projects.

A rise in production was attributed to the expansion of capacity at Tengiz in Kazakhstan and new projects in the US and Nigeria.