Occidental Petroleum announced that Colombia has agreed to cut a controversial tax assessment against the company to $21.5 million from $850 million. In order to avoid the expenses of further litigation, Occidental said in a statement, "We will be meeting promptly with the tax authorities in Colombia to resolve the $21.5-million assessment." Armand Hammer, chairman of the Los Angeles-based company, predicted last year that the tax assessment would be dropped. There had been accusations in Colombia for several years that Occidental cheated the government out of taxes in 1983, although formal charges were never made. The allegations are especially sensitive in Colombia, where the $850 million would represent a significant portion of the national budget.