US independent Occidental (Oxy) has reinforced its Middle East portfolio, snapping up Abu Dhabi’s Onshore 5 exploration block this week. The award is the first to be made from Adnoc’s 2nd licensing round which was launched in May 2019 (MEES, 3 May 2019).

The move reaffirms Oxy’s commitment to the asset base it has built up across Abu Dhabi and northern Oman. Oxy’s plan to divest some $4-5bn of its global assets over 2020 and the first half of 2021 in order to pay-down the debt burden accrued through last year’s $55bn Anadarko acquisition had raised the prospect that this painstakingly assembled acreage might be broken up (MEES, 27 March). (CONTINUED - 735 WORDS)