Oxy Petroleum pulling out of Piceance Basin near Rifle | PostIndependent.com

Oxy Petroleum pulling out of Piceance Basin near Rifle

John Gardner
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

RIFLE, Colorado ” Occidental Petroleum has temporarily halted drilling and well-work activity in the Piceance Basin.

According to Occidental spokeswoman Stacey Crews, the decision was made Thursday to halt operations due to Oxy’s seasonal slowdown, combined with the current unfavorable economic conditions, but that the company has long term plans in the basin.

“We have an excellent inventory of assets in the area and plan to expand our production when costs are in-line,” Crews said. “We are committed to our long-term plans in the Piceance Basin.”

This cutback comes months after Oxy completed acquisition of the remainder of Plains Exploration’s interests in the Piceance Basin, according to the company’s website.

Oxy Corp. reported earnings of $339 million for the fourth quarter of 2008 compared to $2.46 billion for the same period in 2007. The $1.46 billion decrease in the fourth quarter of 2008 was attributed to lower crude oil and natural gas prices and higher operating expenses as contributing factors. Oxy is the fourth largest oil and gas company in the U.S. and had a capital program budget of $4.7 billion in 2007.

However, a statement on the company’s website attributed to Dr. Ray R. Irani, chairman and chief executive officer of Oxy, read, “In order to protect our returns, we are announcing a 2009 capital program of $3.5 billion. We believe that with this level of capital, we will achieve our targeted returns in the current price environment as well as grow our production volumes in 2009, 2010 and beyond.”

Contact John Gardner: 384-9114


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