Chevron Corp. says its fourth-quarter profit will be significantly lower than the prior quarter because of the big drop in oil prices.
After peaking above $147 a barrel in July, oil prices spent the remainder of 2008 falling dramatically. When the fourth quarter began Oct. 1, crude was trading at around $100 a barrel. Three months later, on Dec. 31, it settled at $44.60, a decline of nearly 60 percent.
During the first two months of the fourth quarter, Chevron said its crude oil price averaged $61.70 per barrel, a 45 percent drop from the $112.22 a barrel it realized for the entire third quarter.
The San Ramon, Calif.-based oil giant provided the guidance Thursday in an overview of market conditions for the October-December period.