Oil giant Chevron (NYSE:CVX) announced its 2014 capital-spending plans. The company plans to spend $39.8 billion next year, which is actually down about $2 billion from its 2013 plan. But what's really interesting is that America isn't getting much of Chevron's money next year.
Overall, Chevron will spend just $7.9 billion on America's energy boom in 2014; the company will spend the bulk of its upstream capital internationally. While $7.9 billion is still a lot of money, that is nothing compared to what other companies are spending at home.
For example, ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) recently announced it was spending 55% of its $16.7 billion capital plan in North America. Moreover, two-thirds of ConocoPhillips' development drilling budget, which is 39% of total capital spending, will be on just the Lower 48 states. That alone represents more than $4 billion in spending. It doesn't count what ConocoPhillips is spending in Alaska, or the money it's spending on exploration and appraisal in the Gulf of Mexico, the Niobrara in Colorado or unconventional opportunities in the Permian Basin in Texas. Clearly, ConocoPhillips sees great growth opportunities as it invests to fuel America's energy boom.
Other smaller oil companies like Continental Resources (NYSE:CLR) and EOG Resources (NYSE:EOG) are spending billions to grow production in the U.S. Continental Resources, for example, is planning to spend $4 billion to grow oil and gas production in America next year. It's part of the company's ambitious plan to triple its oil and gas production by 2017. It also represents a big investment for a $19 billion dollar company, which is dwarfed by the $235 billion size of Chevron and the $85 billion market cap for ConocoPhillips.
Further, while EOG Resources hasn't yet announced its 2014 capital spending plans, it's likely to be at least as much as the more than $7 billion it plans to spend in 2013. It's quite possible that EOG Resources, which is a $43 billion company, will actually outspend Chevron in the U.S. next year. Few companies are as well position to profit from America's oil boom as EOG Resources.
This isn't to say that Chevron is making a mistake by not spending in the U.S. The company simply has more pressing needs for its capital, including peak spending on its massive Australian LNG projects. In fact, cost overruns at its $54 billion Gorgon export project forced it to shift billions of dollars that could have been spent elsewhere in order to move that project toward completion.
Further, Chevron does have some major projects in America that it's bringing online over the next two years. The Gulf of Mexico will see three projects, Jack/St Malo, Big Foot and Tubular Bells, all begin to deliver production by 2015. Not only that, but the company continues to find more oil in the Gulf as evidenced by its big Coronado discovery with ConocoPhillips. The Gulf of Mexico also should keep Chevron investing in American oil for years to come.
Still, for investors looking to invest in America's oil and gas boom, Chevron is not the answer. Instead, investors should look elsewhere for growth that's made in America.
Three companies fueling America's energy boom