Occidental 1Q Output Hit by Libya, Mideast Turmoil

EnergyReuters

Occidental Petroleum Corp, the fourth-largest U.S. oil company, has cut its first-quarter production outlook due to turmoil in Libya and Yemen, slower capital spending in Iraq and bad U.S. weather.

Stephen Chazen, the chief operating officer who will become CEO in May, said on Tuesday that

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Oxy expected output to be 29,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed) lower in the quarter, with half of that decline due to the effects of winter weather on U.S. production and oil price movements.

The company had previously given production guidance of 740,000 to 750,000 boed for the quarter, but has now lowered that to 711,000 to 721,000 boed.

Analysts at Tudor Pickering Holt said it was Oxy's fifth consecutive miss on quarterly volumes, but noted the earnings impact would not be as dramatic because the company only trimmed first-quarter sales guidance to 710,000 boed from 725,000 boed.

Occidental shares were 2.0 percent higher at $102.92 in midday trading, helped by an otherwise upbeat presentation from Chazen at the Howard Weil Energy Conference in New Orleans in which he promised higher dividends to come following the 21 percent boost in December.

"I can't predict what this will be, but we're pretty committed to dividend growth of this order of magnitude," Chazen said as he showed a slide of the company's dividend history.

(Reporting by Braden Reddall; editing by Andre Grenon)

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