Occidental Signs New Exploration Contracts in Libya

Occidental and its partners have signed contract agreements with Libya's National Oil Company for nine exploration blocks awarded in the EPSA-4 oil and gas licensing round in January. Preliminary work on the blocks, which encompass an area in excess of 46,000 square miles (77,000 square kilometers), is already under way.

"With the signing of these agreements, Occidental is leading the return of U.S. oil and gas companies to Libya after an absence of nearly two decades,'' said Dr. Ray R. Irani, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. ``We're pleased to be going back to work in Libya, and we're excited about the potential of these new blocks. This is another step in the execution of our growth strategy in one of our core areas. Libya played a significant role in Occidental's history, and we believe it can play an important part in our future.''

Occidental is the operator and holds a 90-percent exploration working interest in onshore Blocks 106 and 124 in the Sirte Basin, Blocks 131 and 163 in the Murzuk Basin and Block 59 in the Cyrenaica Basin. Liwa Energy, owned by the Government of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, holds the remaining 10-percent interest.

Occidental also holds a 35-percent exploration working interest in offshore Blocks 35, 36, 52 and 53, with Liwa holding a 10-percent share. The Australian company Woodside Petroleum Ltd. has a 55-percent interest and is the operator.