Chevron seeks buyers for South African business as oil price fall continues

Chevron is looking for buyers for 75 percent of its South African business unit, as part of a three-year asset divestment program announced in 2014.

“This demonstrates Chevron’s continuing focus on balancing our global portfolio with our long-term business priorities, and it is aligned with our previously announced $15 billion divestment program,” Mark Nelson, the company’s president for international products, said in a statement.

The U.S. oil major which has been operating in South Africa for over a century is a leading refiner and marketer of petroleum products in the country. It owns a 110,000 barrel a day refinery in Cape Town and has interests in a lubricants plant in Durban. It markets its products through a network of Caltex service stations. Caltex is a petroleum brand name of Chevron Corporation, created in 1936 in a partnership with Texaco.

Chevron, which also operates in Nigeria’s Africa’s top crude producer, has disposed of several assets in the country as it looks to cut costs following plunging oil prices occasioned by oversupply of the commodity.

The company said last year that it would sack 7,000 workers as profit plunged 63.6 percent in the third quarter and revenue fell 36.8 percent.

With the possibility of oil falling to $10 per barrel becoming more likely, Chevron will be looking to slash capital expenditures and spending on exploration over the next few years to the barest minimum.

Chevron’s shares climbed 2.61 percent to $81.04 on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday (4:50 AM GMT-5).