Chevron Bets on Middle East Gas


After years of focusing on United States shale, Chevron Corp. is staking its natural gas future on the Middle East, a volatile and divided region where energy majors have long tread warily.

CEO, Michael Wirth’s pivot away from home is underpinned by a bet that the Middle East is entering an era of reconciliation that will make it ideal for tapping natural gas, as demand for the cheaper and cleaner fuel is forecast to outstrip oil.

According to Reuters, the new strategy is seeing the company pitch new gas deals in Egypt, Israel, Qatar, while cutting spending on American shale exploration.

The plan is anchored by Wirth’s $11.8 billion purchase this month of U.S.-based Noble Energy, which holds a stake of about 40 per cent in the aptly-named Leviathan gas field in the Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of Israel.

“Five years ago the Eastern Med wasn’t viewed as endowed from a resource standpoint as I think most people would say today. That’s a fundamental shift,” Wirth told Reuters in an interview.

“There’s not a lot of capital investment required in the near term,” he said. “At a time when cash flow matters, that’s a very appealing