Trouble between Doha and Abu Dhabi has thrown a wrench in Oxy’s plans to sell off up to 40% of its Middle East assets; in a bid to keep regional output below 35% of the company’s overall oil and gas production. Speaking to a gathering of investors at the Howard Weil Energy Conference in New Orleans on 25 March, Mr Chazen said: “The notion that they were going to somehow cooperate with each other in an oil investment is difficult at best right now,” Bloomberg reports.

Oxy said last year that a key driver behind its decision to sell a share of the firm’s Middle East assets was a need to reduce its exposure to political risk. Following Mr Chazen’s confirmation that political trouble has upended a major set of transactions – leaving Oxy with these Middle East assets for longer than anticipated – the firm’s share price fell by close to 1.8% the day following the New Orleans conference. (CONTINUED - 706 WORDS)