No. 13

Occidental Buys Elk Hills

Occidental Petroleum Corp. was in a buying mood last year, as the Westwood-based company outbid 22 other firms to acquire the U.S. government's 78 percent interest in the Elk Hills Naval Petroleum Reserve for $3.65 billion the largest price ever paid for government land.

The hefty purchase price was more than 50 percent higher than what government officials expected to get for the land, which Oxy won in a bidding war with other industry heavyweights, including Chevron Corp. and Arco.

The deal was announced in October and should close in the first quarter of 1998. Oxy expects the acquisition to add 1 billion barrels of crude to its reserves, tripling its U.S. crude holdings.

Comprised of 1,000 producing wells on 47,000 acres near Bakersfield, Elk Hills is one of the 11 largest oil fields in the lower 48 United States.

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