Bloomberg is reporting:
Occidental Petroleum Corp., the largest oil producer in the continental U.S., will split its operations in California into a separate publicly traded company in one of the final steps of a breakup plan. The new California company will be the biggest oil and natural gas acreage holder in the state with about 2.3 million net acres, Los Angeles-based Occidental said today in a statement.
[The new company] will have 8,000 employees and contractors and will establish its headquarters in the state.
“Creating two separate energy companies will result in more focused businesses that will be competitive industry leaders,” Chief Executive Officer Stephen Chazen said in the statement.
Chazen is targeting asset sales from North Dakota to the Persian Gulf to focus on Occidental’s most profitable operations after lackluster returns in 2011 and 2012. The California company could be worth as much as $19 billion and carry as much as $5 billion of debt, Tudor Pickering Holt & Co. analysts wrote today in a note to clients. The assets being spun off represent about 20 percent of total production.