In 1920, Occidental Petroleum was founded by a group of oilmen living in California. As one of the first major gas and oil exploration and production companies in the state, the company was able to operate in the Western United States with little competition for the first couple of decades.
In 1956, business magnate Armand Hammer joined the company as its new CEO. Within a few shorts years, the company began diversifying through the purchase of a series of chemical companies like Hooker Chemical Company (1968), of Love Canal infamy, and Cain Chemical (1988), a major $2.0 billion purchase.
While the company was diversifying into other industries, it was also expanding its gas and oil operations. Today, the company maintains most of it core operations in the United States (Texas, Oklahoma and other Western States), the Middle East region – Libya, and South America. Occidental Petroleum is currently ranked as the 16th largest natural gas producer in the world and the 3rd largest oil producer with operations in Texas.
Occidental Petroleum is a publicly held corporation trading on the NYSE under the OXY symbol. The company is also a key component of the S&P 500. Stephen I. Chazen serves as the CEO and oversees a worldwide group of just over 11,000 employees. The corporate headquarters are located in Houston, Texas.
While exploration remains one of Occidental Petroleum’s core objectives, much of the companies’ emphasis goes to the production of oil and natural gas. By the end of 2015, the company was producing 680,000 barrels of oil equivalent (4,200,000 GJ) per day with a majority of it evenly divided between the United States and the Middle East, including North Africa.
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2015, the company had operating revenues of US$ 12.699 billion, which translated to a net operating loss of US$7.829 billion. Assets stood at US$ 43.708 billion while Shareholders Equity stood at US$ 24.350 billion.