Occidental Petroleum Corp., the U.S. oil producer that is restructuring to focus on its most profitable operations, is seeking to sell oil assets in North Dakota for as much as $3 billion, people with knowledge of the matter said.Occidental is working with investment bank Tudor Pickering Holt & Co. to sell about 335,000 net drilling acres in the Williston Basin, said the people, who asked not to be identified because they were discussing private information. The holdings include a part of North Dakota’s Bakken formation, an area that has been less successful for Occidental because of higher costs, though it’s one of the fastest-growing oil-producing regions in the U.S.“This is mostly undeveloped acreage,” Pavel Molchanov, an analyst at Raymond James & Associates Inc., said today in a telephone interview. “In the context of Occidental, this is definitely not core acreage. The company has not historically played in the Bakken.”The $3 billion potential price tag is possible to achieve, although it depends on the quality of Occidental’s land and whether it’s in the formation’s “sweet spot,” Molchanov said.
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