Chevron CEO, in Midland, touts Permian Basin

MIDLAND — The Permian Basin is undergoing a tremendous rebirth due to technological advances, Chevron Corp. chairman and CEO John Watson said Wednesday at the company’s annual shareholder meeting.

The rebirth will help Chevron’s plans to significantly increase in production by the end of the decade, he said.

An expanding middle class globally means energy demand will only go up, he said, with the company predicting that demand will grow by one-third by 2030. And oil and gas will meet more than 50 percent of that demand because it is affordable and reliable, Watson said.

“Our production can grow rapidly,” he said. “Not only can this rebirth benefit the company but it can benefit the country, creating jobs and revenues.”

Watson, senior executives, shareholders and shareholder representatives made the trip to Midland for Chevron’s annual shareholder meeting, the first one in Midland since 2003.

The last time Chevron met in Midland, Watson said, activity levels were much lower than today, and the Permian Basin was viewed as played out. Since, he said, technology helped boost production.

Permian Basin production is currently at 1.4 million barrels a day and headed toward 2 million barrels a day. “Who knows where it will go?” he said, adding that Chevron has been active in the region for 90 years and holds 2 million acres.

The meeting was held at the Petroleum Museum.