Oxy conducts “voluntary reductions” and layoffs across its U.S. land operations

By World Oil staff on 1/9/2020

HOUSTON - Occidental Petroleum began sweeping job cuts at multiple U.S. locations this week, including what a representative called voluntary reductions and outright layoffs, as the company seeks to reduce debt.

Specific details on impacted employees and locations were not made public. The Houston Chronicle reported on Jan. 8, referencing an internal email, that employees of Occidental Chemical and the company’s Gulf of Mexico operations would not be included in the reductions.

The company announced plans to sell down its interest in pipeline-operator Western Midestream Partners, in a bid to eliminate approximately $7.8 billion of debt. Late last year, Occidental said it planned to cut production targets and reduce its 2020 spending by as much as 40%, to help manage its debt obligations.

Following its acquisition of Anadarko Petroleum, Occidental reported long-term debt totaling $47.6 billion, as of September 2019. Activist investor Carl Icahn, who was opposed to the acquisition, continues to pursue a proxy battle, in an effort to speed up asset sales or pursue an outright sale of the company.

Sales of producing assets in Africa and an LNG project in Mozambique have raised approximately $10 billion since the Anadarko acquisition. The company also recently sold Anadarko’s former headquarters in Midland, Texas, and a Houston office plaza to Howard Hughes Corp. for approximately $565 million.

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