Photo courtesy of the Los Angeles Basin Section.

Occidental Petroleum (Oxy) has announced a major division of its company, with some assets moving to Houston and California operations becoming an entirely separate entity based in Southern California.

Though Oxy has not announced where it will locate the headquarters for its new company, local business leaders and politicians are hoping to lure the oil and gas giant to Long Beach. Oxy already operates in Long Beach and currently owns the well-known THUMS islands off of Long Beach’s coast.

If the move to Long Beach proves tangible, the benefits to the city could be great: the new entity is expected to have some 1,800 employees when initially created and, once the separation process is entirely complete, will serve some 8,000 employees and contractors.

“The City has long standing relationships with Oxy senior management, and will be working closely with Oxy to discuss the benefits of headquartering their California operations in Long Beach,” said 3rd District Councilmember Gary DeLong.

“Yes, we’re very interested in having Oxy locate their headquarters here and have reached out to them,” said Deputy City Manager Tom Modica.

However, Oxy said they have made no official decision on where the new company will be based.

“The new California company will establish its headquarters in the state; however, no decisions on the location have been made,” said Susie Geiger, Director of External Relations for Oxy.

According to Oxy, certain assets will be separated in the creation of the new stand-alone company, which will have its own stock ticker, Board of Directors, and management and leadership team. President and CEO Steve Chazen, along with the Oxy Board, will ultimately choose the leadership that will head the new company. Oxy shareholders are also to be offered an undetermined amount of shares in the new company in proportion to their current share in Oxy.

The California operations of Oxy earned some $1.5B last year before taxes, with an expected funded debt of $4B to $5B in 2014.

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