Harnessing its heritage of Western technical know-how, Occidental Petroleum engages in oil and gas exploration and production and makes basic chemicals, plastics, and petrochemicals. In 2012 it reported proved reserves of 3.2 billion barrels of oil equivalent, primarily from assets in the US, the Middle East, North Africa, and Latin America. Subsidiary Occidental Chemical (OxyChem) produces acids, chlorine, and specialty products, and owns Oxy Vinyls, the #1 maker of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resin in North America. Occidental Petroleum's midstream and marketing units gather, treat, process, transport, store, trade, and market crude oil, natural gas, NGLs, condensate, and CO2, and generate and market power.
The company is investing heavily in the US (Appalachia, California, the Mid-Continent, and the Permian Basin), the Middle East and North Africa (Bahrain, Iraq, Libya, Oman, Qatar, UAE, and Yemen), and Latin America (Bolivia and Colombia.)
In 2012 the US accounted for 64% of the company’s revenues.
Occidental operates a global oil and gas exploration and production business and a significant midstream and marketing enterprise. Significant subsidiaries include Centurion Pipeline (an oil-gathering, common carrier pipeline and storage system with 2,750 miles of pipelines extending from southeast New Mexico to Cushing, Oklahoma); Occidental Energy Marketing, (energy marketing of natural gas, natural gas liquids, power and crude oil ); and Phibro (international commodities trading).
It also controls Occidental Chemical (OxyChem), a major North America-based chemical manufacturer. Oil and gas exploration and production accounts for more than 3/4 of the company's total revenues.
Occidental’s revenues grew by 1% in 2012 thanks to higher oil volumes and prices, partially offset by lower gas and NGL prices and lower prices and volumes in the chemicals segment. Oil and gas revenues were up 3% as the result of higher daily production volumes (766,000 barrels of oil equivalent, compared to 733,000 in 2011). US production increased by 9%; total company production, by 5%.
Occidental posted net income of $4.6 million in 2012, 32% down on 2011 due to higher operating expenses.
Occidental is focusing on large, mature oil and gas assets with long-term growth potential.
Growing it assets, in 2013 the company and Qatar Petroleum agreed on the Phase 5 Field Development Plan of the Idd El Shargi North Dome Field, offshore Qatar. The project will sustain oil production levels at about 100,000 barrels per day through 2019. (In 2011 Occidental also teamed up with ADNOC to develop the major Shah gas field in the UAE).
In the US, in 2012 Occidental paid $2.3 billion for oil and gas properties in the Permian Basin, Williston Basin, South Texas and California.
That year Occidental and Magellan Midstream Partners, L.P. formed BridgeTex Pipeline Company, LLC (BridgeTex) to build the 450-mile-long BridgeTex Pipeline to transport 300,000 barrels per day of crude oil between the Permian region and the Gulf Coast refinery markets.
To raise cash to pay down debt, in 2011 the company sold its Argentina-based assets to China Petrochemical for $2.45 billion. The deal helped cover some of the costs of Occidental's $3.4 billion acquisition (in late 2010 and early 2011) of safer US-based assets -- oil and gas properties in South Texas and North Dakota.