Chevron CEO John Watson says the energy giant will align costs and spending to market conditions amid a sharp drop in crude oil prices. Photo: Houston Chronicle/Associated Press As Chevron Corp. closes in on its long-elusive goal of pumping more oil, another target is slipping away: Boosting profits. Chevron’s drive to increase its oil-and-gas production, the most ambitious among the world’s giant energy companies, is beginning to show results, with two major deep-water projects in the Gulf of Mexico starting up late last year. But the newest barrels are flowing just as oil prices have crashed more than 60% since last summer; U.S. crude prices dipped below $44 a barrel on Thursday, the lowest in almost six years, and closed at $44.53. Rising production isn’t likely to make up for the bite of sharply lower prices when Chevron reports quarterly profits. On Friday, analysts expect it to report fourth […]