• Firm working with advisers, though formal sale hasn't started
  • Low energy prices have led to cutting jobs, canceling projects

Chevron Corp. is considering a sale of its geothermal assets in Asia as it seeks to counter a slump in energy markets, according to people familiar with the matter.

The operations could fetch as much as $3 billion, said one of the people, who asked not to be named because the deliberations are private. Chevron, the largest U.S. oil producer after Exxon Mobil Corp., is working with financial advisers on the sale, though no formal process has started, and Chevron may decide to keep the assets, the people said.

A spokesman for Chevron said the company doesn’t comment on mergers, acquisitions or divestitures.

Chevron has slashed headcount and canceled drilling projects to slow the exodus of cash as prices in the world energy markets spiral downward. The company is also seeking buyers for its stake in an Indonesian oil and natural gas field that may fetch about $1 billion, people with knowledge of the matter said in October.

The San Ramon, California-based company joins ConocoPhillips and Apache Corp. in selling assets as oil prices hover near the lowest level in more than a decade. Brent, the global benchmark, dropped 35 percent last year for a third annual loss.

Chevron’s main Asian geothermal holdings, which generate energy from the earth’s heat, are based in Indonesia and the Philippines. In Indonesia, the explorer owns the Salak fields, one of the largest geothermal operations in the world, with a total operating capacity of 377 megawatts, according to information on its website. The company also has a 40 percent interest in Philippine Geothermal Production Co.

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