Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) announced today that its fully-owned subsidiary Unocal East China Sea, Ltd. began natural gas production from the first stage of the Chuandongbei Project in southwest China. Chuandongbei is one of the largest onshore gas projects developed by an international oil company and a national oil company in China.

“First gas for the Chuandongbei Project represents a significant milestone and highlights Chevron’s leadership in the development of sour gas resources,” said Jay Johnson, executive vice president, Upstream. “The project will be an important supplier of clean and affordable energy to the rapidly growing economy in southwest China.”

The Chuandongbei Project covers over 800 square kilometers in Sichuan Province and the Chongqing Municipality. Unocal East China Sea, Ltd. holds a 49 percent participating interest as the operator and China National Petroleum Corporation holds a 51 participating percent interest.

The start-up of the first train commences stage one of the project. Production is planned to ramp up over coming months as all three trains come on line. The three trains have a combined design outlet capacity of 258 million cubic feet of natural gas per day. The Chuandongbei Project is estimated to contain potentially recoverable natural gas resources of 3 trillion cubic feet.

Melody Meyer, president, Chevron Asia Pacific Exploration and Production Companystated, “First gas at Chuandongbei represents the next step in our energy partnership with China. Chevron has worked closely with China National Petroleum Corporationand the Chinese government at all levels to develop the project safely and reliably. The project has provided jobs and business opportunities for the local community, and will continue to contribute to the regional economy for decades.” (Original Source)

Shares of Chevron closed yesterday at $84.12. CVX has a 1-year high of $112.93 and a 1-year low of $69.58. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $86.84 and its 200-day moving average is $85.46.

On the ratings front, Chevron has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on January 7, Deutsche Bank analyst Ryan Todd maintained a Buy rating on CVX, with a price target of $103, which represents a potential upside of 22.4% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, on December 21, Macquarie’s Iain Reid upgraded the stock to Buy and has a price target of $85.

According to, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Ryan Todd and Iain Reid have a total average return of -10.7% and 1.0% respectively. Todd has a success rate of 30.3% and is ranked #3510 out of 3607 analysts, while Reid has a success rate of 50.0% and is ranked #1701.

Overall, 4 research analysts have assigned a Hold rating and 7 research analysts have given a Buy rating to the stock. When considering if perhaps the stock is under or overvalued, the average price target is $104.25 which is 23.9% above where the stock closed yesterday.