Occidental CFO Talks Anadarko Saga, Rebuffs Sheffield Criticism

Anadarko Petroleum was the only corporate deal Occidental Petroleum considered since the company’s current leadership has been in place, says CFO Cedric Burgher.

Occidental CFO Talks Anadarko Saga, Rebuffs Sheffield Criticism

Occidental Petroleum started its pursuit of Anadarko Petroleum back in 2017 when Anadarko CEO Al Walker and Occidental CEO Vicki A. Hollub had their first meeting.

DENVER—At turns feeling like “suckers” or simply confused, Occidental Petroleum Inc.’s two-year saga to buy Anadarko Petroleum turned from finesse to hardball as the company negotiated a deal valued at $55 billion.

In May 2017, on his first day at Occidental, CFO Cedric Burgher was told the company had set its sight on acquiring Anadarko.

“I was like, ‘Woah, wait a minute, can we slow the bus down a little bit,’” Burgher said at a keynote luncheon address on Aug. 12 at EnerCom’s The Oil & Gas Conference.

Burgher defended the deal as well as a recent joint venture (JV) with a Colombian company in the Midland Basin that Pioneer Resources Inc. CEO Scott Sheffield said was largely noncore acreage.

“We acknowledge this is a bold move for Occidental,” Burgher said. But, by 2022, the company’s acquisition stands to double free cash flow, after dividends, compared to its previous plans.

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Darren Barbee

Darren Barbee is senior editor for Oil and Gas Investor magazine.