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Occidental Petroleum Company
Headquarters Delaware, United States
Key people William E. Albrecht (President, Oxy Oil and Gas, USA); Todd A. Stevens (Vice President, Oxy Oil and Gas, California Operations)
Revenue In 2007, USD 18,784,000,000
Net income In 2007, USD 5,400,000,000
Total assets In 2007, USD 36,519,000,000
Employees 8,886
Website http://www.oxy.com/index.htm

Occidental Petroleum Corporation (Oxy) is an international oil and gas exploration and production company with operations in the United States, Middle East/North Africa and Latin America. Oxy is the fourth largest U.S. oil and gas company, based on equity market capitalization. Oxy is the largest oil producer in Texas, the largest gas producer in California, and has additional operations in Kansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. Oxy has assets in Libya, Oman, Qatar, and Yemen and is a partner in supplying natural gas from Qatar to markets in the United Arab Emirates. Oxy has operations and assets in Colombia and Argentina.

Company History

Oxy began in California in the 1920s as a small oil and gas company. In 1961, Oxy made its first major discovery, drilling into previously unexplored depths near the Sacramento Basin in northern California and discovered the state’s second largest dry gas field at Lathrop. Over the next ten years, Oxy expanded its worldwide operation to the Middle East and South America. In 1968, Oxy entered into the chemical business with the acquisition of Hooker Chemicals, today known as Oxy Chemical Corporation (OxyChem), and is the leading chemical manufacturer with interests in basic chemicals, vinyls and performance chemical products. Beginning in 1997, Oxy completed a series of acquisitions, sales and asset swaps to become a more highly focused oil and gas company with large, long-lived, high margin oil and gas assets concentrated in the United States, Middle East and Latin America. Oxy transformed Colombia from oil importer to exporter with the 1983 discovery of the billion-plus barrel Caño Limón oil field located in the Llanos Basin in the northeastern part of the country. In 2006, this oil field averaged 28,000 BOE per day. In 2005, Ecopetrol approved development of the Caricare field, an exploration discovery adjacent to the Caño Limón field, in which Oxy has a 35 percent working interest. That same year, Oxy signed an agreement with Ecopetrol for an EOR project in the La Cira-Infantas field in central Colombia. In December 2006, Oxy completed the second pilot phase and agreed to enter a third and commercial phase with Ecopetrol. [1]

Oxy is California’s largest natural gas producer and the state's largest oil and gas producer on a gross-operated barrels of oil equivalent basis, which has increased with the use of hydraulic fracturing. On its website, Oxy states that the company "is applying the expertise gained from exploring and producing different shale zones at Elk Hills to other California assets, including properties in the Los Angeles, Ventura and San Joaquin basins. More than one-fourth of Oxy’s California production currently is from shales."[1]

Historical Financial Information

Business Strategy

Political and Public Influence

Occidental Files Claim Against Government of Ecuador (Press Release) Oxy filed an arbitration claim against the Ecuadorian government, seeking redress for Ecuador’s illegal confiscation of Occidental’s Block 15 operations in Ecuador. [2]

Political Contributions


Occidental is one of the largest oil company contributors to both Republican and Democratic candidates for Congress. These contributions total $396,100 to the 110th US Congress (as of the third quarter), the largest of which has been to Rep. John Sununu (R-NH) for $23,400. Rep. Sununu, for his part, has consistently voted with the oil industry on energy, war and climate bills.[3]

Contributions like this from fossil fuel companies to members of Congress are often seen as a political barrier to pursuing clean energy.

More information on oil industry contributions to Congress can be found at FollowtheOilMoney.org, created by the nonpartisan, nonprofit organization Oil Change International.

Corporate Accountability


Human Rights

Tomas Maynas Carijano et al. v. Occidental Petroleum Corporation
This document discusses a lawsuit on behalf of 25 indigenous Achuar plaintiffs from the Peruvian Amazon against Los Angeles-based Occidental Petroleum Corporation (Oxy). The claim alleges harm caused by Oxy over a 30 year period in the Corrientes River Basin during which Oxy contaminated the river and the lands of the indigenous Achuar communities, causing death, poisoning and destruction of way of life. [2] [3] [4] [5]

Esther Mamallacta Shiguago et al. v. Occidental Petroleum Co., Occidental Exploration and Production Co.
In 2006, a case was filed against Occidental for using military and paramilitary death squads to guard its pipeline in Ecuador. The plaintiffs in this case are victims of murder and torture. [4]

Blood Proves Thicker than Oil
The 7,500 U’wa people, aided by Colombian social movements, environmental organizations (including Friends of the Earth Colombia) and campaign groups around the world have recently won an important victory in their decade-long campaign to stop the exploitation of their lands by Occidental Petroleum. [6]

Occidental Adopts Human Rights Policy
The policy specifically provides for social risk assessments prior to the onset of operations in locations outside the United States; the inclusion of human rights provisions in foreign contracts; human rights training programs for employees and security contractors; and background checks on security personnel. [7]

To What Extent does a Corporate-State Consensus Undermine Human Rights? Oil Extraction in Arauca: Colombia, the United States and Occidental Petroleum
This is a dissertation submitted for Mc in Development Studies at Birkbeck College, University of London. It discusses the national context including the struggles over territorial control and the consolidation of the elite. It also addresses the international context and the impact of the United States and Occidental Petroleum on human rights violations. [8]

Occidental invites Amnesty to Colombian Facility(May 19, 2004)
Occidental stated that it would be open for Amnesty to investigate its role following an Amnesty report on human rights violations that named Occidental in association with Colombian security forces used to defend company facilities as guerrilla war rages on the Arauca part of the country. [5]

Riding Shotgun on a Pipeline(May 16, 2004)
The U.S. and Colombia launched an extraordinary military operation that sent thousands of troops into Arauca to combat rebel attacks on Occidental’s pipeline. [6]

Galvis Mujica v. Occidental Petroleum
A lawsuit by Galvis Mujica that alleges that Occidental Petroleum had a role in the bombing of the village of Santo Domingo that killed 17 residents and wounded many others. The court dismissed the case in 2005, claiming that the Alien Tort Statute claims were political questions that should not be considered by the court system.[7] [8]

Protecting the Pipeline: The U.S. Military Mission Expands [9]

A Laboratory of War: Repression and Violence in Arauca
This document discusses Occidental’s human rights violations, including the XVIII Brigade which is reportedly funded by Oxy that has collided with paramilitary forces and the Santo Domingo killings. [10]

Occidental Pipeline in Colombia Strikes it Rich in Washington
The Occidental pipeline is often attacked by guerrilla groups, more than 1000 times since its 1986 construction. It has spilled more than 2.9 million barrels of crude oil (more than 11 times the amount spilled by Exxon Valdez) and has polluted more than 1,625 miles of river. [11]

Special Issues and Campaigns: World Report 1999
Human Rights Watch claims that Occidental along with Ecopetrol and Royal Dutch/Shell, took no action to address reports of extrajudicial executions and a massacre committed by the state forces assigned to protect the consortium’s facilities. The companies’ response was that human rights violations were the responsibility of governments, and they did not announce any programs to ensure that their security providers do not commit human rights violations. [12]

Human Rights Watch World Report 1998
Arauca province was the site of the Occidental Petroleum, Royal Dutch/Shell, and Ecopetrol consortium's Caño Limón-Covenas oil fields and pipeline. By putting the companies in a new relationship to the military, the contracts had raised serious questions. The direct contracts signed with the Ministry of Defense inappropriately tightened the companies' relations with an abusive military and compounded the fundamental problem: that the companies relied on that abusive military institution for security and thereby assumed a responsibility to take concrete, programmatic measures to prevent violations and to confront those that may arise. The companies have taken very little action in regarding human rights. [13]


Oxy describes their environmental protection principles as requiring constant focus on waste reduction and resource conservation. Oxy also tracks energy efficiency and it has been shown that efforts focused on improving energy efficiency have yielded an 8 percent improvement since 1996. Energy use per pound of production in OxyChem has decreased more than 40 percent since 1995. [14]

Diesel in Fracking

From 2010 to July 2014 Occidental drillers in the reported using 739.96 gallons of diesel injected into one well in the U.S. The Environmental Integrity Project extensively researched diesel in fracking. The environmental research organization argues that diesel use in fracking is widely under reported.

The Environmental Integrity Project 2014 study "Fracking Beyond The Law, Despite Industry Denials Investigation Reveals Continued Use of Diesel Fuels in Hydraulic Fracturing," found that hydraulic fracturing with diesel fuel can pose a risk to drinking water and human health because diesel contains benzene, toluene, xylene, and other chemicals that have been linked to cancer and other health problems. The Environmental Integrity Project identified numerous fracking fluids with high amounts of diesel, including additives, friction reducers, emulsifiers, solvents sold by Halliburton.[9]

Consumer Protection and Product Safety

Anti-Trust and Tax Practices

Social Responsibility Initiatives

Oxy describes their social responsibility initiatives as working closely with neighboring communities to bring economic and social advantages and foster self-sufficiency. Internationally Oxy has built schools, medical clinics, and day-care centers in remote rural areas near their operations. Oxy also provides teachers and agricultural training and other programs to enhance sustainable development. [15]
Oxy has also helped with social responsibility initiatives in Colombia, by helping to build 34 elementary schools in the state of Arauca and has implemented an innovative and successful adult education program called A Crecer (Let’s Grow). A Crecer has more than 800 students with 80 trained tutors in 15 locations. To complete the literacy program, the students must complete 5 grades, a class project and 800 hours of extracurricular work. It takes about three months to complete one grade, each of which is organized into four modules, math, communication, community and environment. The adults attend classes on the weekends in the schools that were built were for the children of Arauca. [16]
Oxy has also helped bring medical care and health education to the rural communities surrounding the Caño Limón oil field. Oxy helped build, equip and staff 11 medical facilities which provide emergency medical treatment and preventative care. In 2004, the medical center treated an average of 380 patients per month. [17]



Accessed May 2012:[11]

Former Board Members

Contact Information

Corporate Headquarters/ Occidental Oil and Gas Corporation
10889 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Tel: (310) 208-8800

Occidental Chemical Corporation
Occidental Tower
5005 LBJ Freeway
Dallas, TX 75244
Tel: (972) 404-3800

URL: http://www.oxy.com

Articles and Resources

Related SourceWatch Articles

External Resources

External Articles

EarthRights International, Racimos de Ungurahui & Amazon Watch, "A Legacy of Harm: Occidental Petroleum in Indigeneous Territory in the Peruvian Amazon", April 2007.


  1. "Our businesses: California," Occidental Website, accessed May 2012.
  2. "Class Action Complaint", Superior Court of the State of California in and for the County of Los Angeles, May 14, 2007.
  3. "Indigenous Peruvians Sue Occidental Petroleum", EarthRights International, May 10, 2007.
  4. "Amazon Leaders Give Oxy Ultimatum: Clean Up Your Toxic Waste from our Rainforest or Face Legal Action in the U.S.", EarthRights International Press Release, May 3, 2007.
  5. "New Report Exposes Occidental Petroleum's Legacy of Harm in the Peruvian Amazon", EarthRights International, May 3, 2007.
  6. Friends of the Earth International,"Blood Proves Thicker than Oil", Clashes with Corporate Giants pg. 30-31, July 2002.
  7. "Occidental Adopts Human Rights Policy", Occidental Press Release, December 7, 2004.
  8. Annabel Short, "To What Extent does a Corporate-State Consensus Undermine Human Rights? Oil Extraction in Arauca: Colombia, the United States and Occidental Petroleum", Birkbeck College, September 2004.
  9. "Fracking Beyond The Law, Despite Industry Denials Investigation Reveals Continued Use of Diesel Fuels in Hydraulic Fracturing," The Environmental Integrity Project, August 13, 2014.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Occidental Petroleum, Message from Executive Management, corporate website, accessed May 3, 2012
  11. Occidental Petroleum, Directors, corporate website, accessed May 3, 2012