Chazen Elaborates As Oxy’s Middle East Asset Sale Falls Apart

Occidental CEO Steve Chazen confirms what MEES reported last week: GCC diplomatic tensions have derailed the firm’s planned Mideast asset sale. There is little chance of salvaging the planned JV of Qatar Petroleum, Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala and Oman Oil that Oxy hoped would absorb $8bn of its Mideast assets.

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)

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table Occidental Petroleum: Mena Production (Net)