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OCCIDENTAL PETROLEUM $1.5 BILLION SHELF RATED 'BBB' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 NEW YORK, April 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Occidental Petroleum Corp.'s $1.5 billion shelf registration of debt securities is rated 'BBB' by Fitch. The same rating is affirmed on outstanding senior debt and medium-term notes, as is the company's 'F-2' commercial paper rating. The credit trend is stable.
 Management has performed on its commitment to refocus the enterprise on its energy and chemicals businesses and to reduce debt. Over the last two years, Occidental generated $3.1 billion from asset sales, and used the majority of the proceeds to reduce debt from its peak of $8.3 billion at year-end 1990 to $5.6 billion at year-end 1992. The company continues its tight controls on spending and operating costs in a difficult operating environment. The recent decision to exit the marginally-profitable coal business marks the virtual culmination of its restructuring, although it involved a non-cash charge of $600 million to 1992 earnings.
 However, the lack of sustained strength in energy prices, particularly eroding commodity chemicals margins, depressed recurring earnings and cash flow and delayed the realization of restructuring benefits. As a result, cash flow interest and debt coverages are currently somewhat thin for this rating. Nonetheless, with operations on a sounder footing, even small improvements in energy prices and chemicals margins should translate quickly to higher earnings and cash flow.
 Although total debt remained unchanged, non-cash charges to 1992 earnings for the coal exit and accounting changes raised debt leverage to 61.7 percent at year-end 1992, from 57.7 percent at year-end 1991. Early in 1993, Occidental realized net proceeds of $563 million from the sale of convertible preferred shares, and used the funds to redeem $590 million of high-cost debt. These transactions lowered pro forma debt leverage to 55 percent, closer to the company's near-term target of 50 percent.
 Occidental Petroleum, based in Los Angeles (CA), is a diversified energy and chemicals enterprise.
 -0- 4/5/93
 /CONTACT: Mary Anne Sudol, CFA of Fitch, 212-908-0562/
 (OXY)


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

PS -- NY039 -- 3040 04/05/93 12:27 EDT
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Date:Apr 5, 1993
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