Occidental to sell minority stake in Middle East unit

September 15, 2013 - 1:02:37 am


LOs ANGELES: Occidental Petroleum Corp is looking to sell a minority stake in its Middle East operations, two sources familiar with the matter said on Friday, as part of a broader plan to split up the company.

Chief Executive Steve Chazen has spoken openly since April about a potential deal for its Middle East and North Africa assets. Chazen has started talking to sovereign wealth funds and other potential investors about possible investments in the Middle East unit, the sources said. One of the sources said the company could sell 30 percent to 40 percent of the business. Analysts have valued the Middle East business at $15bn to $20bn, meaning a stake sale could bring in $4.5bn to $8bn depending on its size.

Occidental is the second-largest oil producer offshore Qatar. Its other holdings in the Middle East include a 24.5 percent stake in the Dolphin Gas Project in Qatar and the UAE, and assets in Bahrain and Oman. The sources said Occidental has reached out to some of its  current partners — Mubadala and the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company — in its search for buyers. Reuters