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Chevron Vice Chairman George Kirkland

Chevron Vice Chairman George Kirkland said in an interview that the company is making the Permian shale formation a top investment priority, aiming to turn its West Texas acreage into a top five company asset by 2020.

Chevron has operated in the Permian since the 1920s, but in the last five years has been behind rivals in extraction and production techniques.

Kirkland said, “We have such a good acreage position and we’re looking for a high production over a long period of time. In 2020, we’ll be looking at (the Permian) as one of our top five assets in the whole company.”

More than half of the company’s 1.5 million acres in the Permian don’t require royalty payouts to landowners.

Chevron hopes to boost Permian production by 67 percent to 250,000 bpd by 2020.

“We have now done a lot of appraisal work, both us directly, and indirectly by those drilling around us. If you’re in a hydrocarbon producing area, technology will allow you over time to increase productivity. That underlying belief is really coming to fruition for us,” Kirkland said.