Occidental Petroleum Corp. will be leaving the Bakken as it sells its North Dakota oil assets
The reported $500 million deal includes the sale of approximately 300,000 acres and a 21,000 square-foot regional office complex to Lime Rock Resources. Most of Occidental's acreage is located in Stark and Dunn counties, which have not been producing like other Bakken counties, such as McKenzie.
Reuters reports that Occidental's executive vice president and named CEO Vicki Hollub is downplaying the value of the company's Bakken assets. She commented that North Dakota "just can't compete with our Permian Basin (Texan) assets and we don't think it ever will, so we do want to monetize it."
Occidental Petroleum Corp, the fourth-largest U.S. oil producer, is the first major oil company to exit the Bakken region since the oil price slump.
Just one year ago, wall street estimated a sale of Occidental's Bakken Shale assets would easily fetch a $3 billion. But oil has fallen by half since then and the company needs the cash, which caused them to sell at 'bargain basement prices'.
Occidental made history in May when it named the first woman ever to lead a major U.S. exploration and production company.