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UPDATE 1-Occidental Petroleum sets low-carbon business targets for CEO's bonus

(Adds company details, share price)

HOUSTON, March 26 (Reuters) - Occidental Petroleum Corp will tie results achieved in the company’s low-carbon business to its chief executive’s cash bonus this year, the oil and gas producer said in a securities filing on Friday.

Occidental is setting ambitious climate targets and trying to turn its low-carbon unit into a profitable business after it cut jobs and output last year when the coronavirus pandemic hammered global energy demand.

The company increased the weight assigned to its emissions reductions and low-carbon ventures unit to 30% of CEO Vicki Hollub’s target bonus, according to its proxy filing.

Hollub’s target compensation for the year was reduced by 29% from its pre-COVID-19 levels, the filing said.

Occidental’s carbon capture business could be worth between $2 billion and $5 billion, according to Mizuho Securities analyst Daniel Boyd.

The company before year-end will set medium-term net emissions reduction targets for sometime around 2030, it said in the filing. The targets come after a shareholder proposal and discussions with the shareholder activist group Follow This earlier this year, the company said.

Occidental in November set a target to reach net-zero emissions in its operations before 2040.

It loaded up on debt in 2019 to acquire an oil rival, but has been an early mover among U.S. oil producers in setting net-zero emissions goals. Last year it created the low-carbon group to commercialize pulling carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere through a process known as direct air capture.

Occidental shares closed 4% higher at $27.76 on Friday. They are up nearly 60% so far this year as oil prices and demand improve from pandemic-driven lows. (Reporting by Jennifer Hiller and Gary McWilliams in Houston Editing by Chris Reese and Matthew Lewis)

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