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Pressure pumps wait for hydraulic fracturing operations to begin at a Chevron drilling site in the Permian Basin - Photo: Michael Ciaglo, Staff / Houston Chronicle

Chevron Corp. plans as much as $80 billion in dividends and share buybacks over the next five years, boosting distributions by 20 percent compared with the most recent pace of payouts as the U.S. oil giant ramps up production and returns from the Permian Basin.

Mike Wirth, who took over as chief executive officer little more than two years ago, promised shareholders a mix of cost-cutting and measured production growth to offer attractive financial returns even as customers and policymakers demand lower-carbon fuels. Production from the Permian in Texas and New Mexico will double over the next five years and eventually account for a third of its global output. Read more…