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Occidental's Board Issues Unanimous Statement on CEO Succession Process



  Occidental's Board Issues Unanimous Statement on CEO Succession Process

Business Wire

LOS ANGELES -- April 8, 2013

Occidental Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:OXY) -- The Occidental Petroleum Board
of Directors today issued the following unanimous statement in response to
questions about the CEO succession process announced in February:

In 2010, as a result of shareholder concerns, the Board instituted a
leadership succession plan. Ray Irani, 78, stepped down as CEO and became
Executive Chairman of the Board. Stephen Chazen, 66, who had been President
and COO, became President and CEO. The Board also announced that Dr. Irani
will retire as Executive Chairman and as a member of the Board effective at
the end of 2014.

During the past two years, the Company focused on three main objectives:
achieving production growth in the oil and gas business; generating rates of
return on invested capital significantly in excess of our cost of capital; and
delivering consistent annual dividend growth. The Company met these goals, but
2012 presented challenges, including disappointing stock performance. Our
focus on growing production led to some execution inefficiencies, resulting in
increases in operating and capital costs. To remedy this, the Company began
taking aggressive steps to improve operational efficiencies without impacting
overall production growth or compromising our standards regarding health,
safety and the environment. These actions reflect the commitment of the Board
and senior management to improve profitability and total shareholder return in
2013 and beyond.

As these 2012 events unfolded, the independent directors began to reflect on
the longer term succession plans for the Company’s senior management. After
extensive deliberation, they concluded that now is the time to seek new
leadership to be in place for the longer term. During executive session
meetings, they determined, in accordance with the Board’s on-going succession
planning responsibilities, to begin the process to identify a successor to Mr.
Chazen. The search committee of independent directors retained a search firm
to assist with the process. Given that Mr. Chazen was to be named as a nominee
for the Board in the Company’s Annual Meeting proxy, it was determined that
the search process required disclosure.

In regard to recent press articles and inaccurate speculation, the independent
directors reiterate that there is no “fight at the top.” All decisions
regarding CEO succession planning were made over many meetings by the
independent directors alone in executive session, in accordance with best
governance practices. Dr. Irani did not attend, and did not play any role in,
these meeting deliberations. The decision was unanimous. These deliberations
did not involve or consider any change in the Company’s business strategy or
long term goals. There were no schisms, nor philosophical divisions in the
directors’ decision.

Dr. Irani confirmed, “There should be no lingering question about my future
plans here at Oxy. I will retire as Executive Chairman and as a member of the
Board at the end of 2014.”

In the meantime, as the search effort proceeds, Mr. Chazen remains in place as
CEO, with the full authority of that office. He has assured the Board that he
will stay as CEO until a replacement is designated. The Board is committed to
having him do so.

Mr. Chazen stated, “Our business is in excellent shape. Our financial
condition is sound, and our long term business strategies are unchanged. Our
program to improve operational efficiency is proceeding ahead of our original
plan. Ray and I continue to meet to discuss issues, and work well together on
the Company’s business and strategies, as we have done over the past 19 years.
I have enjoyed my time here at Oxy as CFO, COO and CEO. I am not aware of any
differences between me and the Board as to the Company’s strategies. I did not
ask to leave at this time, but I respect the Board’s decision to seek a new
generation of leadership. For the good of the Company, its shareholders and
its employees, I will assist the Board in their search and in the transition.
In the meantime, I will continue to do my job.”

The Board and our senior management remain united behind the Company’s
strategic plan and its commitment to continued and improved operational
efficiency, profitable growth and long term value creation for the
shareholders.

                                  About Oxy

Occidental Petroleum Corporation is an international oil and gas exploration
and production company with operations in the United States, Middle East/North
Africa and Latin America regions. Oxy is one of the largest U.S. oil and gas
companies, based on equity market capitalization. Oxy's wholly owned
subsidiary, OxyChem, manufactures and markets chlor-alkali products and
vinyls. Oxy is committed to safeguarding the environment, protecting the
safety and health of employees and neighboring communities and upholding high
standards of social responsibility in all of the company's worldwide
operations.

Contact:

Occidental Petroleum Corporation
Media:
Dale A. Petroskey
310-443-6249
dale_petroskey@oxy.com
or
Melissa E. Schoeb
310-443-6504
melissa_schoeb@oxy.com
or
Investors:
Chris Stavros
212-603-8184
chris_stavros@oxy.com
On the web: www.oxy.com
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