Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Kinnear Leaves Texaco among Best-Managed Firms

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Kinnear Leaves Texaco among Best-Managed Firms

Article excerpt

By Thomas C. Hayes

N.Y. Times News Service

DALLAS _ Increased exploration spending and attention to technology have paid off for James W. Kinnear, Texaco's president and chief executive, who will retire today.

During Kinnear's six-year tenure, Texaco added nearly $2 to the value of its proven reserves for every $1 spent on exploration and development, the best record among the major oil companies during the period and a major reason for Texaco's improved stature on Wall Street.

Kinnear spoke during an interview in the week of his retirement from management of the nation's fourth-largest oil company. His successor as chief executive, Alfred C. DeCrane, was named last December by Texaco's directors. In his remarks Kinnear pointed to improvements in drilling and exploration technology that have dramatically increased the volumes of oil recovered by major oil companies from new and maturing reserves.

"As these techniques become better, the amount of oil recovered from the ground will continue to go up, and this is going to go on for years to come," Kinnear said.

Kinnear, who was 65 on March 21, gets high marks from Wall Street, notably for steering Texaco through a series of crises after becoming chief executive on Jan. 1, 1987, and then accelerating the company's financial performance to among the best of the oil giants.

"The company has emerged as perhaps one of the best managed, if not the best managed, major international oil company," said William L. Randol, oil analyst at Salomon Brothers Inc. "Texaco was one of the first to restructure, to get more streamlined and efficient."

After agreeing to pay $3 billion to Pennzoil Co. in late 1987 to settle a historic takeover feud, and leading Texaco through a traumatic bankruptcy reorganization caused by the settlement, Kinnear has focused on improving Texaco's technology, which, he said, was central to the company's recovery. …

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