March 27, 2018 / 3:52 PM / 9 months ago

Occidental sees Permian shale unit at breakeven by third quarter

NEW ORLEANS, March 27 (Reuters) - Occidental Petroleum Corp expects its Permian shale division to be cash flow breakeven by the third quarter, six months ahead of schedule, its chief executive said on Tuesday.

The company's Permian Resource business, one of the largest shale oil producers in the largest U.S. oilfield, should break even - or generate as much cash as it spends - by the third quarter, CEO Vicki Hollub said at the Scotia Howard Weil conference in New Orleans.

The company had previously expected to hit the target by January 2019, but improvements in logistics, operations and technology have moved up that deadline, Hollub said.

"Achieving this cash flow neutrality is a milestone," Hollub said. "We can now protect our shareholders in a lower-price environment." (Reporting by Ernest Scheyder Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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