Chevron's costs in LNG project rise

San Ramon-based Chevron has released details about its crucial liquefied natural gas project on an island off the coast of Western Australia, saying project costs have increased about 41 percent.

The total cost estimate for the Gorgon LNG project is now $52 billion, up from $37 billion in previous estimates.

"Gorgon project economics are attractive," Chevron Vice Chairman George Kirkland said. "While investment requirements have grown, oil prices, which directly impact the overall revenue stream, have increased by approximately 80 percent over the same time period."

Kaiser hospitals get high marks

Oakland-based Kaiser Permanente hospitals have been given higher ratings as a group in 2012 than a year ago, the health care operation said Friday.

The rating determined that 31 of 33 Kaiser Permanente medical centers, or 94 percent of the group included in the report received A grades. Two others, or 6 percent, received a B.

Kaiser's rating represents an improvement over the previous rating. In the prior rating, 26 of 29 hospitals received an A grade, while three received a B.

The Leapfrog Group, a coalition of public and private purchasers of employee health coverage, rated the medical centers using its Hospital Safety Score. The report card assigns a letter grade to hospitals based on 26 variables, including rates of infections, medication mix-ups and health care-acquired injuries.


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-- Staff