Steve Chazen, CEO of US independent Occidental (Oxy), has recently completed a tour of the GCC countries where it has assets. He aimed to reassure leaders that Oxy is committed to the region and will not sell off its Mideast concessions.

Mr Chazen told them that the plan he is considering putting to his board this summer will see all overseas assets placed into a holding company with Oxy to sell off a 20% stake, MEES learns. This would not impact Oxy’s operatorship of Mideast holdings. Gulf energy leaders’ reaction to this will influence whether he goes ahead: indeed Qatar and Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth funds might be interested in buying a stake. Washington would veto any non-US firm from buying Oxy in its current form, but probably would not block a minority purchase. (CONTINUED - 353 WORDS)