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HOUSTON, Nov 5 (Reuters) - Occidental Petroleum Corp on Tuesday said sharp reductions in capital spending next year will result in oil and gas production growth of just 2%, missing the target for 5% growth of the combined business with Anadarko Petroleum.
Occidental plans to slash spending by 40% and cut back on production goals in order to meet dividend and debt payments, it disclosed Monday when it released third quarter financial results.
It plans 2020 spending of about $5.4 billion and a 2021 budget of $6.6 billion, Chief Executive Officer Vicki Hollub said on Tuesday on a call with analysts. The company expects 5% annual production growth in 2021.
The company will be flexible with production targets, Hollub said, adding, “it really depends on commodity prices, efficiencies, where we are from a leverage standpoint.”
Occidental quadrupled its debt to $40 billion with the Anadarko deal and said on Tuesday it had paid down $4.9 billion in debt in the third quarter with asset sales. “We believe we must get our debt down,” Hollub said. “That’s an internal target. We talk about it every day.”
Occidental faced investor opposition to the Anadarko deal - which did not go to a shareholder vote for approval - and is battling activist investor Carl Icahn.
Icahn wants to replace board members, have the company accelerate asset sales, and is in court seeking documents related to the deal. In a letter to a Delaware court judge on Monday, Icahn said he wants to know, “whether the actions of the directors and management were just serious mistakes or whether they represented knowing intentional breaches of fiduciary duty.”
Occidental shares were trading at $41.90 on Tuesday, down 5.3%. (Reporting by Jennifer Hiller; Editing by David Gregorio)
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