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Opinion
Liam Denning

Buffett Made Occidental the Kind of Company He Can Love

He showed up with $10 billion at a critical moment, and now clearly expects oil and gas prices to remain healthy enough to support his investment.

He gets to create the reality he prefers.

He gets to create the reality he prefers.

Photographer: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

One of the benefits of being Warren Buffett is that you make things happen just by showing up. If he so much as gestures at a stock, it is liable to pop immediately, providing a nice self-fulfilling gain. When it comes to Occidental Petroleum Corp., the Buffett effect runs far deeper than that, and yet it is less pronounced — which says a lot about the US oil sector in 2022.

Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s latest quarterly holdings filing, which dropped late Monday, showed a 17% stake in Oxy, as it is known, as of June. In reality, other filings put the stake above 20% now. In any case, Buffett’s company is Oxy’s largest shareholder by far. As recently as last December, Berkshire owned none of the company’s common stock. That doesn’t mean Buffett wasn’t a presence though. Far from it.