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OCCIDENTAL PETROLEUM $100 MILLION 30-YEAR MEDIUM-TERM NOTES RATED 'BBB' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 NEW YORK, Jan. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Occidental Petroleum Corp.'s $100 million of 8.75 percent medium-term notes due 2023 are rated BBB' by Fitch. The notes are to be sold in an underwritten offering pursuant to a shelf registration of medium-term notes. The BBB' rating on Occidental's outstanding senior debt issues and medium-term notes is affirmed, as is the F-2' rating on its commercial paper. The credit trend is stable. Occidental will use the proceeds primarily to retire outstanding debt.
 Occidental's financial and operating restructuring has focused the enterprise on its basic petroleum and chemicals businesses, lowered debt and debt leverage, and improved financial flexibility. Key elements in this effort were sales of non-strategic assets, scaling back overhead and operating costs, and a substantial cash dividend reduction. Between year-end 1990 and the third quarter of 1992, the company generated almost $3 billion from asset sales. It used a substantial portion of the proceeds to reduce total debt from $8.3 billion at year-end 1990 to $6.2 billion at Sept. 30, 1992, with debt leverage falling to 59 percent from 65 percent at year-end 1990. Net expense reductions were designed to improve net income by $350 million annually, with another $450 million in annual cash savings from the reduced dividend, thus conserving $800 million of cash annually.
 Over the last two years, however, weak oil and volatile U.S. gas prices, together with soft commodity chemicals markets, adversely affected recurring earnings and obscured restructuring benefits. To improve near-term results, Occidental recently announced further actions to save an additional $300 million cash annually: $150 million from reducing discretionary capital expenditures in 1993 and $150 million from operating cost reductions. With its operations on a sounder footing, even small improvements in energy prices and chemicals margins should translate quickly to earnings and cash flow improvements.
 Occidental Petroleum, based in Los Angeles, is a diversified energy and chemicals enterprise.
 -0- 1/6/93
 /CONTACT: Mary Anne Sudol of Fitch, 212-908-0562/
 (OXY)


CO: Occidental Petroleum Corp. ST: California IN: OIL SU: RTG

CK -- NY028 -- 2153 01/06/93 11:23 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 6, 1993
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