Occidental Petroleum said Friday it is moving its headquarters to Houston and will spin off its California assets into a separate company.

LA-based Oxy is the nation’s fourth biggest oil and gas firm.

It was founded in Los Angeles almost a century ago.

From its new headquarters in Houston, Oxy will focus on its operations in the Permian Basin in Texas.

The California assets are less productive and will be spun off into a separate company.

The new California company will employ about 8,000 people.

It will be the state’s biggest natural gas producer, Occidental said.

Occidental’s former chairman Ray Irani was replaced last year.

The company’s share price hasn’t kept up with its peers in the market.

Earlier this week, Occidental said it is selling 1.4 million acres in the midwest for $1.4  billion.

It didn’t name the buyer.

The Hugoton Field oil and gas properties in Kansas, Oklahoma and Colorado have been operated by Occidental since the 1940s.

Production in 2013 from the Hugoton wells averaged 110 million cubic feet equivalent per day, 30 percent of that in oil.

Occidential said it will use some of the proceeds from the Hugoton sale for a share buy back.

The company said last year it is selling assets in the Middle East and North Africa to focus on U.S. operations.

The spin off of the California assets into a new company is expected to be completed by late 2014 or early 2015, Occidental said.


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