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Report: Occidental to lay off workers in Houston, Denver

Occidental Petroleum Corp. will lay off employees primarily in Houston and Denver in an ongoing effort cut costs following the $57 billion acquisition of Anadarko Petroleum Corp., the Houston Chronicle reported Jan. 8, citing an internal email from Occidental CEO Vicki Hollub.

Hollub reportedly said in the email that the company will not have any layoffs in its OxyChem petrochemical arm nor in its Gulf of Mexico division, which was acquired from Anadarko.

The Chronicle quoted a prepared statement from Occidental spokeswoman Melissa Schoeb that said the company's integration team has worked for months to identify the positions needed to successfully and safely operate the business while still achieving its cost reduction and synergy goals. The email did not specify how many jobs would be eliminated but said all layoffs could be announced by the end of the week, according to the report.

As part of its efforts to reduce debt, the company divested real estate assets in both Houston and The Woodlands, Texas, to Howard Hughes Corp. for $565 million and also retired $2 billion in bank term loans due in 2021 during the fourth quarter of 2019. Occidental also plans to cut its stake in Western Midstream Partners LP to below 50% during the year but will continue its operational relationship with the partnership.