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Occidental Petroleum (NYSE: OXY) fell sharply in afternoon trading on a report that the company had failed to raise $8 billion through the sales of a 40 percent stake in its Middle Eastern operations.

Bloomberg news service said a group of prospective buyers that included the governments of Oman, Abu Dhabi and Qatar have walked away from talks.

Occidental previously disclosed plans to sell more of its North American properties and as much as 40 percent of Occidental's operations in the Middle East and North Africa.

Occidental "continues to make progress" on the sale of part if its interests in the region, the company told Bloomberg in a statement.

A break-up plan first discussed last year resulted in the spin-off of its California operations in February.

Bloomberg said it now plans to sell some Middle Eastern assets piecemeal, with smaller proceeds than originally envisioned.

In initially discussing the break-up more than a year ago, Chief Executive Steve Chazen reportedly told analysts "I do not want to go down the path of a sort of delicatessen approach to this where you slice a piece of baloney off and throw it to the wolves."

Posted-In: Steve ChazenNews Rumors Asset Sales

 

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