Occidental Petroleum Adds $1.1 Billion To 2018 Capital Budget

Houston-headquartered Occidental Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: OXY) has increased its capital budget by $1.1 billion for high-return, short-cycle oil and gas projects, having hit its low oil price breakeven goals six months ahead of schedule, boosted profit and shed noncore assets.

The company’s 2018 capital program guidance rose to $5 billion, up from $3.9 billion.

Occidental set out in early 2017 to lower costs enough to break even at $40 per barrel of oil, enabling the company to cover shareholder dividends and capex with more cash coming from its oil and gas operations.

“During the quarter we exceeded the 80,000 boe/d growth target we set for the Permian Resources team in early 2017. All of our business segments contributed to the success of our breakeven plan and continue to perform better than expected,” Occidental CEO Vicki Hollub said during the company’s second-quarter earnings call Aug. 9.

The outperformance helped Occidental, one of the biggest players in the Permian Basin, to generate about $2.5 million more cash flow than the company planned for this year based on a WTI oil price of $50 per barrel. This comes in addition to $2.6 billion in proceeds from the sale of midstream assets the company expects to receive in the third quarter.