Like its rivals, Chevron's earnings dropped in 2009 amid a tough global economy. But the number two U.S. oil and gas company offset that downside with its exploration and production units in the Gulf of Mexico, Kazakhstan, and Nigeria.

This year, Chevron said it will focus on exploration and production, expand research in alternative energy sources, and cut back on investments in processing and refining. The company hasn't been scared out of deep waters by the BP spill: Chevron will continue with plans to explore off the coasts of the U.K., Canada, and Brazil.