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Anadarko US Gulf position 'a keeper': Oxy CFO

US oil major hopes to deploy efficiency tool to newly acquired Gulf of Mexico assets

Occidental Petroleum is unlikely to immediately sell off Anadarko Petroleum's US Gulf of Mexico assets but is looking to lower costs in the play, the oil major's chief financial officer said Monday.

"We're being very coy about what we're willing to sell because you don't want to front-run the sales process," Occidental CFO Cedric Burgher said at the Enercom Conference in Denver.

"But we like the Gulf of Mexico. We think it's a keeper. It's got great free cash flow, they're great assets."

Oxy keen on US Gulf return via Anadarko deal

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Occidental became the fourth-largest deep-water Gulf of Mexico producer through its acquisition of Anadarko, which closed last week. The deal handed Occidental 10 deep-water hubs in the Gulf of Mexico, including Heidelberg, Lucius and Constitution.

Occidental also acquired the Horn Mountain development from Anadarko. The oil major had partnered with Vastar Exploration on the development before that company was bought out in by BP in 2000, and eventually exited the project in 2007.

Burgher said the company hoped to deploy its proprietary Oxy Drilling Dynamics efficiency tool to the US Gulf. The tool has been used to improve drilling rates and cut well costs, and Burgher said the company saw a 30% reduction in costs in its Middle East operations after deploying the technology there.

"We're looking forward to trying to see if we can deploy that technology to the Gulf of Mexico," he said.

Occidental plans to divest up to $15 billion in assets in the wake of the Anadarko deal, with the bulk already tied up in an $8.8 billion deal with Total for the former US independent's Africa properties including the Mozambique LNG project. Occidental has said little about what other assets it may offload.

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