SAN RAMON, United States — Chevron Corporation and Weyerhaeuser Company today announced a letter of intent to jointly assess the feasibility of commercializing the production of biofuels from cellulose-based sources.

The companies will focus on researching and developing technology that can transform wood fiber and other nonfood sources of cellulose into biofuels for cars and trucks. Feedstock options include a wide range of materials from Weyerhaeuser's existing forest and mill system and cellulosic crops planted on Weyerhaeuser's managed forest plantations.

The two companies said the partnership reflects their shared view that cellulosic biofuels will fill an important role in diversifying the nation's energy sources by providing a source of low-carbon transportation fuel. The agreement plays to the strengths of both companies, with Chevron's advanced fuel-manufacturing technologies and Weyerhauser's wide range of forestry and mill holdings.

"Chevron is investing in cellulosic biofuels because we believe they will play a role in meeting future energy growth," said Dave O'Reilly, Chevron's CEO. "This collaboration aligns with our long-term business strategy to accelerate the commercial development of nonfood based biofuels."

Both Chevron and Weyerhaeuser already have separate research partnerships under way to accelerate the development of cellulosic biofuels. Chevron has forged alliances with the Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of California at Davis, the Colorado Center for Biorefining and Biofuels, and the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Weyerhaeuser is collaborating with several research universities, national laboratories and technology-based companies in research on conversion of forest products into ethanol and other biofuels.

Many states nationwide are seeking opportunities to diversify fuel sources with secure, renewable, low-carbon and environmentally sustainable alternatives. Ethanol produced from biomass such as forest and agricultural waste does not present a conflict with food supply sources such as corn and is considered greenhouse-gas neutral when derived from sustainable management practices.