U.S.-based oil major Chevron has announced a 2018 capital and exploratory spending program of $18.3 billion, which is down for the fourth consecutive year. This amount includes $5.5 billion for the company’s share of expenditures by affiliated companies, Chevron said on Wednesday.“Our 2018 budget is down for the fourth consecutive year, reflecting project completions, improved efficiencies, and investment high-grading,” said Chevron Chairman and CEO John Watson, who will retire from the company on February 1, 2018, after 37 years of service, including eight years as chairman and CEO.About a year ago, Chevron reduced its capex for 2017 to $19.8 billion, a reduction of 42 percent from 2015 outlays.Watson continued, “We’re fully funding our advantaged Permian Basin position and dedicating approximately three-quarters of our spend to projects that are expected to realize cash flow within two years.”“With production currently exceeding guidance in the Permian, our 2018 plan should deliver both strong production growth and solid free cash flow, at prices comparable to what we’ve seen this year.”In the upstream business, approximately $8.7 billion is forecasted to sustain currently producing assets, including $3.3 billion for the Permian and $1 billion for other shale and tight rock investments. Approximately $5.5 billion of the upstream program is planned for major capital projects underway, including $3.7 billion associated with the Future Growth Project at the Tengiz field in Kazakhstan.Global exploration funding is expected to be about $1.1 billion. Remaining upstream spend will be for early stage projects supporting potential future developments.Approximately $2.2 billion of planned capital spending is associated with the company’s downstream businesses.
Earlier this year, ASA assisted the Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC) in the promotion of a survey to analyze farmers’ use and perceptions of cover crops. For the second year in a row, the national survey documented a yield boost from the use of cover crops in soybeans and corn, as well as a wide variety of other benefits. The survey, funded by the North Central Regional Sustainable Agriculture Research and Extension (SARE) program and carried out by CTIC, also provides details on the challenges and benefits farmers expect from cover crops, data on the costs of seed and establishment, and insights into how farmers manage cover crops. ASA President Ray Gaesser (IA) serves on SARE’s National Working Group for Cover Crops and Soil Health.A total of 1,924 respondents—both users and non-users of cover crops—completed the survey in the winter of 2013-2014. Included in this total, 583 farmers compared yields in soybeans between fields with and without cover crops. Following cover crops, farmers reported an average boost of two bushels of soybeans per acre, or 4.3 percent. Of the total, 639 farmers provided data comparing corn yields on fields with and without cover crops. They noted an average yield increase of five bushels per acre, or 3.1 percent, in corn fields planted after cover crops. The survey results also show that between 2010 and 2013, the adoption of cover crops increased by 30 percent per year.Click here to read a summary of the survey results. The complete report is available here.
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