Robert O. Anderson, 68, the former longtime chairman of Atlantic Richfield, said he will leave Arco's board Sept. 1 and return to his roots as an independent oilman in New Mexico.
"I look forward once again to getting back to the Oil Patch," said Anderson, who started out as an independent producer in 1941 and built a company that became a principal part of what is now Arco, the nation's seventh-largest oil producer.
Anderson was out of the country and couldn't be reached to elaborate on his plans. He said in a statement issued by Arco that he intends to form his own privately held company in New Mexico.
The collapse in oil prices has created potential bargains for anyone in a position to buy oil and gas properties.
"This is still the most exciting industry in the world," Anderson said. "In spite of the obvious difficulties, I believe there are exceptional opportunities."