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Occidental Petroleum to split, relocate headquarters to Houston

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According to an announcement made early Friday, California's Occidental Petroleum Corp. plans to fragment the existing company into two parts, in the process moving the world headquarters from Los Angeles to Houston. The other segment of the company will remain headquartered near its massive California natural gas production. Occidental is that state's largest producer of natural gas.

Occidental already has large holdings in Texas, which have been operated from a regional office located at Greenway Plaza on the city's near southwest side. The Houston office of Occidental Petroleum Corp. will now manage exploration and production throughout Texas, where the company has significant holdings in the Permian Basin. Operations in the Middle East, North Africa and South America, primarily Colombia, will also be controlled from Houston. OxyChem, the company's chemical arm, and marketing and midstream operations will also be based in Houston

In the Middle East, Oxy operates or is a partner in production in Qatar, Oman, Bahrain and Iraq; the company is also a participant in the region's Dolphin Gas Project. In Latin America, Oxy's chief interests are in Colombia with minor interests in Bolivia. The company's largest U.S. interests are in the Permian Basin (Texas-New Mexico), Hugoton Embayment (Oklahoma-Kansas), Williston Basin (North Dakota, Bakken Shale), and South Texas.

The California company will continue to operate major holdings in the Elk Hills Field of Kern County and Long Beach's Wilmington Field. These are in addition to holdings in some 125 fields throughout the state.Some 8,000 employees will remain with the California company, which has not yet been named. Current president and CEO Steve Chazen has agreed to retain both positions and lead the transition through the 2016 annual stockholders meeting. The company will announce the management team in Q3, and complete the separation of the two companies by year end or early in 2015.