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Occidental Petroleum says second-quarter profit is flat

July 30, 2013|By Shan Li
  • Occidental Petroleum reported second-quarter profits remained flat compared to last year.
Occidental Petroleum reported second-quarter profits remained flat… (Kevork Djansezian / Associated…)

Los Angeles-based Occidental Petroleum, one of the largest crude oil producers in the country, said second-quarter profit held steady as production jumped in California and Texas while oil prices overseas declined.

The earnings report comes just a few months after shareholders ousted longtime chairman Ray Irani from Oxy's board at its annual meeting in May.

The company reported a profit of $1.32 billion, or $1.64 a share, in the three months ended June 30. That was compared to the $1.33 billion, or $1.64 a share, from the same quarter a year earlier. Sales jumped 3.4% to $5.96 billion.

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Global oil production increased to 772,000 barrels per day, up slightly from a year ago. U.S. production also posted a 2% jump to 471,000 barrels a day. However, the worldwide price for oil dropped more than 1% to $97.91.

Occidental Chief Executive Stephen I. Chazen said domestic output is meeting expectations, but said events such as severe storms in Texas and insurgent activity in Colombia are holding back overall production.

"To date we're running ahead of our full-year objectives to improve domestic operational and capital efficiencies," Chazen said on a Tuesday earnings call. He said the company has slashed domestic drilling costs by 21%. 

Chazen survived boardroom intrigue that embroiled the company earlier this year, which ultimately ended up in shareholders voting out Irani, who has been with the company since 1983, at the annual meeting in Santa Monica.

The chief executive has brought up the prospect before of splitting up the company in order to boost share prices. Analysts have said that possibilities under consideration include breaking up Occidental into separate entities by geography, including companies in California, Texas and the North Africa and Middle East regions.

Shares of Occidental dropped $2.91, or 3.2%, to $87.57 in midday trading on Tuesday.

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Follow Shan Li on Twitter @ShanLi

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