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 2014 it reported proved reserves of 2.8 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 2014 the US accounted for 62% of the company’s revenues.
Occidental’s principal businesses consist of three segments.
The oil and gas segment explores for, develop,s and produces oil and condensate, natural gas liquids (NGLs) and natural gas. The chemical segment (OxyChem) makes and markets basic chemicals and vinyls. The midstream, marketing, and other segment (midstream and marketing) gathers, processes, transports, stores, purchases. and markets oil, condensate, NGLs, natural gas, carbon dioxide (CO2) and power. It also trades around its assets, including transportation and storage capacity, and trades oil, NGLs, gas and power. Additionally, the midstream and marketing segment invests in entities that conduct similar activities.
Significant subsidiaries include Centurion Pipeline (an oil-gathering, common carrier pipeline and storage system with 2,800 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 controls Occidental Chemical (OxyChem), a major North America-based chemical manufacturer.
Oil and gas exploration and production accounted for 69% of the company's total revenues in 2014.
Sales and Marketing
From time to time, Occidental purchases oil, NGLs, power, steam and chemicals from (and sells oil, NGLs, gas, chemicals and power) to certain of its equity investees and other related parties at market-related prices.
In 2014 the company's revenues decreased by 14.7% in 2014 due to lower oil and gas sales partially offset by a stronger performance from the midstream and marketing segment.
The drop in net sales was mainly due to a significant decline in worldwide oil prices and to a lesser extent, a decline in NGLs prices, partially offset by higher US oil volumes and natural gas prices.
Gains on sales in 2014 included the sale of a portion of the investment in Plains Pipeline, the sale of BridgeTex Pipeline and Hugoton properties.
In 2014 Occidental's net income decreased by 89.6% due to lower revenues, asset impairments, and related items expenses, partially offset by a decreased provision for US and foreign income taxes.
Asset impairments and related items in 2014 included Williston basin charges, Occidental's gas and NGLs assets charges, domestic acreage charges and charges for operations in Bahrain and other international operations. It also included charges for Joslyn oil sands and an other than temporary loss for the available for sale investment in California Resources stock.
Provision for income taxes decreased in 2014 due to lower pre-tax income, partially offset by certain nondeductible charges which increased the effective rate.
In 2014 net cash provided by the operating activities decreased by $1.7 billion compared to 2013.
Occidental aims to maximize total returns to stockholders by increasing oil and gas production through development programs focused on large, long-lived conventional and unconventional oil and gas assets with long-term growth potential, and acquisitions.
The oil and gas business implements Occidental's strategy primarily by operating and developing areas where reserves are known to exist and to increase production in core areas, primarily in the Permian Basin and parts of the Middle East; use enhanced oil recovery techniques, such as CO2, water and steam floods, in mature fields; focus a sizable portion of Occidental's drilling activities on unconventional opportunities, primarily in the Permian Basin; and maintain a disciplined approach towards US acquisitions and divestitures and the execution of international contracts.
The primary objective of OxyChem is to generate cash flow in excess of its normal capital expenditure requirements and achieve above-cost-of-capital returns. The chemical segment's strategy is to be a low-cost producer in order to maximize its cash flow generation.
In 2015 Occidental expected to deliver 6% to 10% annual production growth driven by its Permian Resources operations and the startup of the Al Hosn Gas Project, a joint venture with the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) that began operating in January 2015.
To raise cash to pay down debt, in 2014 Occidental sold its interest in BridgeTex Pipeline while retaining access to US Gulf markets through the pipeline, resulting in a $633 million pre-tax gain. Simultaneously with the sale of Occidental's interest in the BridgeTex Pipeline, Occidental completed the sale of a portion of its investment in Plains Pipeline, resulting in a $1.4 billion pre-tax gain. It also sold its Hugoton Field assets to an undisclosed buyer for pre-tax proceeds of $1.4 billion.
To generate additional cash and improve its operational efficiency, in 2014 the company spun-off of its California oil and gas business into an independent and separately traded company, California Resources Corporation. Occidental retained a 19.9% ownership interest in California Resources for up to 18 months.
In 2013 OxyChem, and Mexichem formed a 50/50 joint venture, Ingleside Ethylene LLC, to build a 1.2-billion-pound per year capacity ethylene cracker at the OxyChem plant in Ingleside, Texas, along with pipelines and storage at Markham, Texas. As part of a long-term strategic supply relationship between the companies, essentially all of the ethylene produced from the cracker will be consumed in the manufacture of vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) utilizing existing VCM capacity. VCM will be delivered to Mexichem to produce polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and PVC piping systems.
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).
Mergers and Acquisitions
In 2014 Occidental spent $1.3 billion on an acquisition in the Permian Basin totaling 100,000 net acres. In 2013 paid approximately $500 million to acquire various US-based oil and gas properties.