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Deals

Occidental to sell some Colorado, Utah assets for $1.33 billion

FILE PHOTO: The logo for Occidental Petroleum is displayed on a screen on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., April 30, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

(Reuters) - Occidental Petroleum Corp said on Wednesday it will sell some of its Wyoming, Colorado and Utah assets to Orion Mine Finance for about $1.33 billion, as the oil and gas producer looks to cut the debt it took on with its purchase of Anadarko.

Occidental has been trying to divest assets to whittle down its $36 billion of long-term debt, a bulk of which was taken on during its $38 billion Anadarko Petroleum deal last year, an ill-timed bet on oil prices rising.

It expects to receive $2 billion or more in asset sales this year, and has about $4.5 billion in notes due next year.

The Orion deal, expected to close in the fourth quarter, will see Occidental sell about 4.5 million mineral acres and 1 million fee surface acres. The company will, however, retain its core assets in the Rockies, including the DJ Basin in Colorado and the Powder River Basin in Wyoming.

Occidental acquired millions of mineral and surface acres in Wyoming and Colorado with the purchase of Anadarko, and hoped at one point to fetch as much as $700 million for the assets, according to people familiar with the initial sale plans.

It no longer plans to sell Algerian assets it had once hoped to sell to France’s Total to pay down debt, Occidental Chief Executive Vicki Hollub said, calling Algeria a “core asset.” Algerian authorities had moved to block Total’s acquisition.

Occidental is still marketing assets in Ghana.

The company was advised by RBC Capital Markets, CBRE Group Inc and Latham & Watkins LLP, while Orion was advised by Citi and Shearman & Sterling LLP.

Reporting by Arathy S Nair and Arunima Kumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Shinjini Ganguli

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