Occidental jet visits Warren Buffett’s hometown amidst potential $10 billion shale deal

Kevin Crowley, Bloomberg December 01, 2023

(Bloomberg) – Occidental Petroleum Corp.’s private jet touched down in Omaha this week, home to its biggest investor Warren Buffett, as Chief Executive Officer Vicki Hollub considers a shale oil deal worth at least $10 billion.

Occidental Chief Executive Officer Vicki Hollub

The plane flew from Houston, where Occidental’s headquarters are located, to Eppley Airfield in Omaha on Nov. 27 and stayed grounded for about three hours, according to ADS-B Exchange, a flight tracking website. It then flew to New York for a brief stop before returning to Houston just after midnight.

The trip came just days before it was reported that Occidental is considering buying CrownRock LP, one of the Permian basin’s biggest privately owned oil producers, in a deal valued above $10 billion. It’s the second time Oxy’s jet visited Omaha this month, having not previously made the trip since May, the flight data show.

Berkshire Hathaway Inc., Buffett’s conglomerate, owns 25.9% of Occidental after building up the stake during the last three years. Representatives for Berkshire and Occidental didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Occidental’s corporate jet movements recall a frenzied few months in 2019 when the company successfully outbid Chevron Corp. to buy Anadarko Petroleum Corp. for $55 billion. Investors and reporters tracked the jet to Omaha before Occidental announced a $10 billion investment from Berkshire, which helped secure the deal. The plane later visited Paris, where Occidental was in talks to sell some of Anadarko’s African assets to TotalEnergies SE.

While investors often use plane tracking to give them an edge on corporate announcements, it’s not always a reliable indicator of a deal. In the midst of the 2019 takeover battle, Occidental’s jet also touched down in The Hague, which was then home to Shell Plc, which had a joint-venture partnership with Anadarko. But no deal with Shell or its affiliates ever materialized.

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