Occidental Q1 Profit Soars 71%

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Occidental Petroleum, the fourth-largest U.S. oil company, said its second-quarter profit surged 71% to $1.82 billion, or $2.23 per share, from $1.06 billion, or $1.31 per share, a year earlier as revenue climbed 34% to $6.17 billion. Analysts were expecting a profit of $2.15 per share on revenue of $5.79 billion.

California-based Occidental (OXY) said its average selling price for oil in the second quarter was $103.12 a barrel, a 39% increase from the second quarter of 2010. Production increased 2% to 715,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

Occidental said it is planning to increase its U.S. production by 3,000-4,000 barrels of oil equivalent in each of the coming months left in 2011, according to MarketWatch. In addition to California, Occidental is looking for production growth in the Permian Basin of West Texas and North Dakota's Williston Basin.

Occidental is currently running 29 rigs in its home state. Occidental will increase is domestic rig count to 74 by the end of the year, up from 59 now and 38 at the end of 2010, MarketWatch reported. The company said it expects no production out of Libya in third quarter as was the case in the second quarter.