BLOOMBERG: Occidental to review Mideast assets in bid to cut debt

Published: Jun. 10, 2020 at 5:13 PM CDT
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Occidental Petroleum Corp. is reviewing options for its Middle Eastern assets as it seeks ways to reduce its debt pile, people familiar with the matter said.

Houston-based Occidental is considering reducing its stakes in oil and natural gas fields in Oman, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Its holdings in the Gulf sultanate could be valued at more than $1 billion, the people said.

The company is also open to divesting other assets in the Middle East, though it isn’t formally soliciting interest, the people said. Outside of Oman, it has a presence in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

Occidental was saddled with about $40 billion of debt after its purchase of Anadarko Petroleum Corp. last year. It has gone from being a steady, diversified producer to a shale-focused driller that has seen its shares fall more than 40% this year. A slump in energy demand worsened Occidental’s financial situation, forcing it in May to cut a quarterly dividend to the lowest level in decades.