Friday, December 10, 2010

Occidental Petroleum (NYSE:OXY) Changing Focus to Domestic Energy Supply

Occidental Petroleum Corp. (NYSE:OXY) announced Friday they're investing about $3.2 billion in the U.S. energy sector, while divesting of its Argentine properties, which they're selling for $2.5 billion to Sinopec (NYSE:SHI).

In the near term, the sale of their Argentine properties will give a boost to earnings in the first quarter.

A couple of larger domestic deals for Occidental are the acquisition of South Texas from Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS-A) for $1.8 billion, which will produce about 200 million cubic feet per day of gas equivalent.

The other deal is the acquisition of 180,000 acres in Three Forks and Bakken for $1.4 billion. They are both located in North Dakota.

Occidental added they're going to raise their dividend to $6 cents a quarter, an increase of 21 percent from the 38 cents a quarter they now pay out. That will be effective for the April 15 payment.

The company said their confidence in increasing free cash flow was behind the dividend decision.

Occidental was trading at $92.37, up $1.30, or 1.43 percent, as of 1:09 PM EST.

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