Biodiversity and Habitat Conservation

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Occidental's Health, Environment and Safety (HES) Principles call for a sustained effort to protect the environment, including actively promoting habitat preservation and biodiversity. Minimizing the disturbance of wildlife habitat is a key tenet of our conservation efforts.

Field development using directional drilling and locating more than one well from a single drill pad reduces the surface area needed for oil and gas production. In mature fields, we often apply enhanced oil recovery (EOR) technologies and drilling techniques. These approaches minimize our operational footprint and minimize habitats exposed to disturbance.

Occidental works with national, regional and local government agencies, university researchers and nonprofit organizations to support native species in certain operating locations, implement adaptive management practices to minimize habitat disruption and to preserve and restore habitat for those species. Examples of our efforts include protecting the habitat of the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard and the Lesser Prairie Chicken.

Occidental amplifies its commitment to biodiversity through an active membership in and support of nonprofit conservation organizations, including the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC) and The Nature Conservancy. Occidental's longstanding participation in the WHC has helped us to enhance habitats across the United States. WHC's Corporate Wildlife Habitat Certification/International Accreditation Program recognizes commendable wildlife habitat management and environmental education programs at company-owned properties. We currently manage four sites certified by the WHC under the Corporate Lands for Learning and Wildlife at Work programs. In 2014, the WHC presented Occidental with the Prairies for Tomorrow award for its 440-acre prairie wetland conservation area, adjacent to the company's Wichita, Kansas facility. The Prairies for Tomorrow award is a joint recognition through the Wildlife Habitat Council and the Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever organizations. In 2012, the WHC also presented Occidental with the Upland Wildlife Habitat Award for its proactive management of 900 acres of forest, grasslands and wetlands in Montague, Michigan.  

In Colombia, the tropical forests surrounding Occidental Colombia's La Cira Infantas fields are closely managed. Since 2003, Occidental Colombia and Ecopetrol have implemented a reforestation and habitat conservation program with the Barrancabermeja San Silvestre Wetland Integrated Management Regional District, a regional protected area. This program aims to recover degraded areas and restore contiguous areas previously fragmented by cattle farming, and has established a productive tree plantation served by the local community. The plantation has around 108,000 trees, including some endangered species. Also, around 700 fruit trees have been planted with the objective of attracting protected fauna, impacted by hunting and the loss of habitat.