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Occidental plans to accelerate shareholder returns, CEO says

HOUSTON (Reuters) -U.S. oil producer Occidental Petroleum Corp plans to expand shareholder distribution as it further pays down debt, Chief Executive Vicki Hollub said on Friday. On Thursday, Occidental announced a dividend increase, to $0.13 per share quarterly, along with a $3 billion share repurchase authorization. With net debt expected to be below $25 billion by the end of the first quarter, the company is “ready to begin returning more capital to shareholders,” Chief Financial Officer Robert Peterson added.

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