Occidental Petroleum's success is built on strong partnerships, technical expertise, business acumen and a proven ability to deliver superior results. We continually invest in the company and our employees, proactively innovate to improve processes and results, and strive to meet the highest standards of integrity and safety in the workplace.
Our overall strategy is to invest in projects that generate long-term value, achieving returns well above our cost of capital. Maintaining a strong balance sheet ensures that we will be able to thrive through the cycles. We are focused on value-added growth, which we achieve through our portfolio of high-quality assets, track record of operational excellence, and commitment to capital discipline and growing the dividend.
Occidental is primarily an oil producer. Our core U.S. operations are in the Permian Basin of West Texas and southeast New Mexico, where we have significant acreage and are the largest oil producer. Internationally, we are regarded as a premier partner in our four core countries of Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the Middle East, and Colombia in Latin America. We also operate a synergistic midstream business and a world-class chemical business. Our portfolio of assets provides robust free cash flow that requires modest capital investment to sustain, complemented by our high-growth unconventional oil and gas operations in the Permian Basin. The Permian Basin and our four core international operations all have significant remaining resource potential waiting to be unlocked, and we have the technical expertise to make that happen.
At Occidental, social responsibility is fundamental to our success and reputation as a respected Partner of Choice®. We are committed to conducting our business in a manner that safeguards our employees, protects the environment, benefits neighboring communities and strengthens local economies. We take particular pride in Occidental's safety record, which is exemplary not only in the oil and gas and chemicals industries, but compared to any industry sector.
All of this is made possible by our talented global workforce of more than 33,000 employees and contractors, who enable us to operate effectively in highly diverse cultural environments. As a company, we work hard to ensure that Occidental consistently merits the confidence of our investors, partners and other stakeholders around the world.
Vicki A. Hollub
President and Chief Executive Officer