Anadarko Midstream Group Gets New Oxy Leadership After Buyout, Could Hint at Future Sale

HOUSTON (P&GJ) — Less than a week after Anadarko’s shareholders overwhelmingly approved its acquisition by Occidental Petroleum (Oxy), the new owners have replaced executive leadership at Western Midstream (WES), a business that is viewed as a prime target for sale by Oxy as it seeks to reduce debt from the buyout. 


Oxy’s top Business Development executive, Michael Ure, replaced Robin Fielder as president and CEO of Western, and Craig Collins replaced Gennifer Kelly as senior vice president and chief operating officer, a position he held at predecessor Western Gas Partners from 2017 to 2018.

Oxy senior vice president Glenn Vangolen was named chairman of the board for WES, replacing Benjamin Fink, effective immediately. Ure, the new CEO, was appointed to the board, along with Marcia Backus, Peter Bennett, Oscar Brown and Jennifer Kirk.  They replace Daniel Brown, Robin Fielder, Robert Gwin, Mitchell Ingram, and Amanda McMillian. Milton Carroll, who served as chairman of the special committee of the board, elected to resign, but a replacement has not yet been named.

Occidental’s $38 billion purchase of Anadarko not only capped off a David-vs-Goliath bidding war with oil major Chevron, it also saddled Oxy with $40 billion in debt and multiple additional assets, some of which the company has limited-to-no experience with.

While Oxy’s experience is limited to production mostly in the Permian Basin, Anadarko held a wide variety of assets across the industry, including several offshore assets as well as a midstream company, Western Midstream (WES).

Oxy CEO Vicki Hollub has already made deals with other producers to offload other assets including an $8 billion deal with France’s Total to acquire a massive Mozambique LNG project, but nothing had yet been said about WES, until late last week.

Oxy’s chief of finance, Cedric Burgher, this week described the debt burden as "not too bad," according to Reuters, and pledged to be selective in choosing which assets to sell or keep.

"We like the Gulf of Mexico (properties) we think it's a keeper; great free cash flow, great assets," he said at a Denver industry conference. Burgher made no mention of WES during his presentation.

After the announcement and coupled with a downgrade from investment firm Evercore ISI, shares of Occidental fell 4.5% on Monday to $45.01, the lowest level in roughly a decade.  Its shares closed slightly lower today at $44.76.


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