Los Angeles Business Journal

Rising Production, Prices Boost Oxy’s Quarter

By Deborah Crowe Thursday, April 26, 2012

Occidental Petroleum Corp.’s first-quarter net income rose slightly on higher oil prices and record production of oil.

The Los Angeles oil and gas company on Thursday reported net income of $1.56 billion ($1.92 a share), compared with $1.55 billion ($1.90) in the same period a year earlier. Revenue rose 9.5 percent to $6.27 billion.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters on average expected net income of $1.92 a share on revenue of $6.13 billion.

The nation’s fourth-largest oil company said total production of 755,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day was the highest in its history. Domestic production of 455,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day set a record for the sixth consecutive quarter. The global benchmark Brent crude price for oil averaged $118 a barrel in the quarter, compared with $105 a year earlier.

“We are the largest liquids producer in the lower 48 states,” said Chief Executive Stephen Chazen in a statement.

Oxy’s oil and gas production business, its largest segment, saw a 1.5 percent increase in operating income to $2.5 billion. Its midstream pipeline and gas processing businesses increased profits by nearly 15 percent to $131 million. But the company’s chemicals business saw profit fall 16 percent to $184 million, which the company blamed on lower export volumes and the rising cost of ethylene and other raw materials.

Shares were up 49 cents, or less than 1 percent, to $90.60 in midday trading on the New York Stock Exchange.