Occidental's Board Approves Spin-Off Of California Unit


HOUSTON, Oct 2 (Reuters) - Occidental Petroleum Corp said on Thursday its board of directors has approved the spin-off of its California oil and natural gas business to its shareholders.

Occidental, which has been moving its headquarters from Los Angeles to Houston, said about 80 percent of the outstanding shares of California Resources Corp will be distributed to its shareholders on Nov. 30.

Wall Street analysts said the California unit, which is the largest natural gas producer in the state, could be worth $19 billion to $22 billion. Occidental has increased its focus on production from fields in the Permian Basin in Texas and New Mexico.

Shareholders will receive 0.4 shares of California Resources for every one share of Occidental held as of Nov. 17.

Occidental's board also authorized the repurchase of an additional 60 million of its shares and said it would pay a quarterly dividend of 72 cents per share.

Shares of Occidental rose about 1 percent to $96.25 after the close of regular trading.

(Reporting by Anna Driver; Editing by Chris Reese)


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