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ASTRA CAPSA OF ARGENTINA ACQUIRES INTEREST IN OCCIDENTAL EXPLORATION OF ARGENTINA

 BUENOS AIRES, July 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Astra CAPSA (ASTR), the Argentine energy company, announced that today it has entered into an agreement with Occidental International Exploration and Production Company (OIEPC), a subsidiary of Occidental Petroleum Corp., to purchase 20 percent of the share capital Occidental Exploration of Argentina Inc. for US$24,436,400.
 Astra also purchased from OIEPC, for US$10 million, the option to buy the remaining 80 percent share capital of Occidental Exploration of Argentina Inc. at a price of US$94,928,917. Astra can exercise the option between July 1, 1994 and July 8, 1994.
 The main assets of Occidental Exploration of Argentina Inc., a Delaware corporation, are interests in the contracts listed below:
 Audited Reserves
 Percent corresponding to pct. Daily
 Ownership Contract ownership (31-12-92) Production
 63.33 pct. No. 7,559 Oil:30,500,000 bbl Oil:9,500 bbl
 "La Ventana" Gas:3,900,000,000 cu. ft. Gas:1,900,000 cu. ft.
 (in Mendoza)
 90.00 pct. No. 21,419 Oil: 4,600,000 barrels Oil: 2,500 bbl
 Rio Negro Norte Gas: -- Gas: --
 (in Rio Negro)
 In addition, Occidental Exploration of Argentina Inc. holds an exploration permit for the Cuenca Cuyana and Bolsones XVII "Mendoza" area, with a total extension of approximately 3,670 square miles.
 Because of its reserves and production level "La Ventana" is the fifth largest field in Argentina and the largest in the Argentine province of Mendoza. the operating company of "La Ventana" and "Rio Negro Norte" is Occidental Exploration of Argentina Inc.
 Through its ownership of 100 percent of the shares of both UNOLA of Argentina Ltd. and Phillips Petroleum Argentina Inc., Astra already owns 36.67 percent of contract number 7559 of "La Ventana," (bought on Dec. 31, 1991 and on Jan. 1, 1992 respectively), not owned by Occidental Exploration of Argentina Inc. Given the above mentioned acquisition of 20 percent of Occidental Exploration of Argentina Inc., the exercise of the option for the remaining 80 percent of the stock of said company would give ASTRA the operation and an indirect ownership of 100 percent of the rights over contract number 7,559 of "La Ventana" field.
 Ricardo A. Gruneisen, president of ASTRA, commented, "The investment in these attractive properties complements our existing investment, thereby furthering ASTRA's strategy of strengthening its core oil and gas business."
 ASTRA is a major private sector oil and gas producer which has expanded into electricity and natural gas utilities through Argentina's privatization program. Its shares trade on the Buenos Aires and Switzerland Stock Exchange.
 -0- 7/30/93
 /CONTACT: Edmund R. Belak of Georgeson & Co., 212-440-9801, for ASTRA CAPSA/


CO: Astra CAPSA; Occidental International Exploration and Production
 Company ST: IN: OIL SU: TNM


TM-WB -- NY082 -- 7992 07/30/93 18:13 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 30, 1993
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