Occidental Petroleum Corporation ("Oxy") is an international oil and gas exploration and production company with operations in the United States, the Middle East, North Africa, and South America. The company nickname “Oxy” began in 1964 in reference to Occidental’s NYSE stock ticker. Headquartered in Los Angeles, California, Oxy is the fourth largest U.S. oil and gas company, based on equity market capitalization. Oxy is the largest oil producer in Texas and the largest natural gas producer in California, with additional operations in Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado and New Mexico.
Oxy's wholly-owned subsidiary, OxyChem, manufactures and markets chlor-alkali products and vinyls.
Oxy was founded in 1920. In 1957 Dr. Armand Hammer was elected president and CEO. In 1961, Oxy discovered California's second largest natural gas field in the Arbuckle area of the Sacramento basin at Lathrop. Over the next 10 years, Oxy expanded worldwide operations with efforts in Libya, Peru, Venezuela, Bolivia, Trinidad and the United Kingdom. Occidental won exploration rights in Libya in 1965 and achieved exploration and development success until all activities were suspended in 1986 as the result of economic sanctions imposed by the United States government. In 1968, Oxy entered the chemical business with the acquisition of Hooker Chemicals. This was 26 years after the contamination at Love Canal. On July 6, 1988 a fire on Piper Alpha, an oil platform in the North Sea, caused the biggest disaster in offshore oil industry's history. Today Occidental Chemical Corporation (OxyChem) is a leading chemical manufacturer with interests in basic chemicals, vinyls and performance chemical products. In 1994, Dr. Ray Irani became President and CEO of Oxy.
In 2005, Oxy was among 53 entities that contributed the maximum of $250,000 to the second inauguration of President George W. Bush.
Occidental’s oil and gas growth strategy relies on three components: Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR), Exploration and Acquisitions.
In South America, Oxy operates in Argentina, and Colombia. In the Middle East, oxy has operations in Oman, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. Libya is its sole North African operation. In the United States--which accounts for 70 percent of its oil and gas reserves and 60 percent of current production--Oxy is the fourth largest oil and gas company. Occidental is the largest producer of natural gas in California, and the largest oil producer in Texas. Oxy also has operations in Kansas and Oklahoma.
Occidental formerly operated in Ecuador, but interest in Block 15 in the Ecuadorian Amazon was ended by the nation's government in 2006.
In July 6, 1988 Occidental's Alpha offshore production platform in the Piper oilfield in the North Sea exploded after a gas leak. 167 workers lost their lives in the world's worst offshore disaster. All the worker's salaries were calculated up to the moment of the explosion; thus the survivors and the families of those who were killed were only paid a very small amount of the salary owed.
On December 13, 1998, seventeen civilians, including 7 children, were killed when the Columbian Air Force dropped a cluster bomb on the hamlet of Santo Domingo, Colombia, after AirScan, Occidental's security contractor, incorrectly identified it as a hostile guerrilla target from a private aircraft (groups such as FARC and the National Liberation Army were active in the area). Three employees of AirScan were flying the Skymaster plane from which they provided the Colombian military with the coordinates to drop the bombs. The operation had been planned at Occidental's complex in Caño Limón by the CAF and AirScan. A law suit was attempted in April, 2003 against Occidental Petroleum by Luis Alberto Galvis Mujica, a witness and survivor of the accident.
From 1992 to 2001, Occidental Petroleum incurred substantial resistance in its attempts to drill for oil in the territory of the U'wa people in northeast Colombia. The resistance was apparently over concern for environmental damage, tribal beliefs (the group believe that oil is the "blood of the earth" and should not be removed) and fear that development would bring strangers and violence to their region. They believe oil infrastructure will be a target for violent leftist guerillas in the country. After years of shareholder resolutions, legal battles, extensive civil disobedience and a failed test well, the company abandoned the project, which is now continued by Repsol YPF.
In 1998, the US Government sold the Elk Hills Naval Petroleum Reserve to Occidental Petroleum for USD 3.65 billion. The advertised purpose of this sale was to reduce the national debt, and reduce the size of government, as the Reserve was no longer strategically necessary. Critics of the government cited the "no-bid" nature of the sale together with Vice President Al Gore's involvement with the company as proof of graft.
In 2005, Occidental Petroleum and partner Liwa won eight out of fifteen exploration spots on the EPSA-4 auction, making both companies among the first to enter the Libyan market since the United States lifted its embargo on that country.
In August of the same year, the company was accused of 42 legal violations in Ecuador, including environmental destruction and espionage. As a result the Ecuadorian government refused to renew a contract for oil field exploration. Ecuadorian protestors in the northeast part of the country are calling for the withdrawal of Occidental.
Occidental's coal interests were represented for many years by attorney and former U.S. Senator Albert Gore, Sr., among others. Gore, who had a long-time close friendship with Hammer, became the head of its subsidiary Island Creek Coal Company upon his election loss in the Senate. Much of Oxy's coal and phosphate production was from Tennessee, the state Gore represented in the Senate, and Gore owned shares of stock in the company. Because the stock passed to his estate after his death, his son and executor at the time, former Vice President Albert Gore, Jr. received much criticism from environmentalists. However, Al Gore Jr. did not exercise control over the stock, which was eventually sold when the estate closed.
Occidental Oil & Gas Corporation
Occidental Chemical Corporation
OCCIDENTAL CHEMICAL CORPORATION'S LUDINGTON FACILITY RECEIVES RENEWED MIOSHA RECOGNITION OF THEIR WORKPLACE SAFETY, HEALTH EXCELLENCE
Sep 03, 2009; LANSING, Mich., Sept. 2 -- The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth issued the following news release: Occidental...
Occidental Chemical Corporation's Ludington Facility Receives Renewed Miosha Recognition of Their Workplace Safety and Health Excellence
Dec 20, 2012; LANSING, MI -- The following information was released by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA): The...