Occidental Petroleum (NYSE:OXY) announced today that it has agreed to sell its onshore assets in Colombia to private equity giant The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ:CG). The oil company will receive up to $825 million for the assets, with $700 million coming at closing and the remainder subject to production and commodity price targets. The company expects to close this deal during the fourth quarter.
Occidental Petroleum is including its operations and working interest in the Llanos Norte, Middle Magdalena, and Putumayo Basins, which are part of a partnership with the country’s state oil company Ecopetrol (NYSE:EC). Occidental will retain a presence in the country by keeping its offshore exploration blocks. Those assets are also part of a strategic partnership with Ecopetrol, as is a joint venture in the Permian Basin. Occidental CEO Vicki Hollub noted that those offshore exploration blocks are “highly prospective” and “hold tremendous potential that could significantly bolster the country’s energy resources.”
With the onshore asset sale to Carlyle, Occidental has announced more than $2 billion of asset sales that it expects to close this year. The other notable deal is the pending sale of its Wyoming, Colorado, and Utah Land Grant assets for $1.33 billion.
Those cash proceeds will give Occidental Petroleum the funds to pay down additional debt, which it incurred to buy Anadarko Petroleum last year. At the end of the second quarter, Occidental had $$36 billion of long-term debt and nearly $2.5 billion of current maturities of long-term debt. It’s those current maturities, which will grow in 2021 and 2022, that have proved problematic as the company hasn’t been able to sell enough assets to pay them down, forcing it to focus on high-cost refinancing.