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Occidental Petroleum to Write Down as Much as $9 Billion in Assets

By Matthew DiLallo – Jun 25, 2020 at 11:08AM

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The deep downturn in oil prices is forcing the company to revalue its assets.

Occidental Petroleum (OXY 4.13%) revealed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it plans to record a sizable impairment charge during the second quarter. The oil giant currently estimates that it could take an after-tax impairment charge on its oil and gas properties in the range of $6 billion to $9 billion. That will likely result in the company posting a steep loss during the period. 

While Occidental didn't provide too many details on the expected writedown in its filing, a portion likely relates to last year's $55 billion acquisition of Anadarko Petroleum. The company paid a hefty premium for Anadarko at the time, which included outbidding a rival offer from Chevron (CVX 1.83%) by $5 billion. With oil prices slumping significantly since it bought Anadarko, the acquired assets are no longer as valuable as they were when Occidental made that deal. 

A burned piece of cash.

Image source: Getty Images.

This writedown will be Occidental's second this year. The company also recorded a $1.4 billion impairment charge during the first quarter relating to its ownership stake in MLP Western Midstream Partners (WES -0.90%), which it acquired when it bought Anadarko. On top of that, Occidental wrote down the value of its oil and gas properties by $580 million. As a result of these charges and lower oil prices, Occidental posted a $2.2 billion loss in the first quarter. That number will likely widen considerably in the second quarter.

These writedowns might not be the last ones for Occidental. The company warned that if the currently challenging oil market environment continues or worsens, it might take additional impairment charges.

Matthew DiLallo has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Stocks Mentioned

Chevron Corporation Stock Quote
Chevron Corporation
$161.43 (1.83%) $2.90
Occidental Petroleum Stock Quote
Occidental Petroleum
$70.54 (4.13%) $2.80
Western Midstream Partners Stock Quote
Western Midstream Partners
$26.52 (-0.90%) $0.24

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