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S&P; may upgrade Occidental’s debt ratings.

The rating agency said it placed $6.2 billion of Occidental Petroleum’s debt on its Creditwatch list with positive implications. Standard & Poor’s said the $1-billion sale of half of Occidental’s interest in a huge Colombian oil field to Royal Dutch-Shell will reduce Occidental’s capital expenditures by $400 million over the next few years. S&P; also noted that Occidental plans to use proceeds from the sale to buy back expensive preferred stock. S&P; currently rates Occidental’s senior debt at BBB.


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