Occidental Petroleum Reviews

Updated March 20, 2015
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43 Employee Reviews

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  1. 3 people found this helpful

    I have received great opportunities, however OXY does not develop young talent well and compensation is behind.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Facilities Engineer in Houston, TX
    Current Employee - Facilities Engineer in Houston, TX

    I have been working at Occidental Petroleum full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Benefits are good and 9/80 work schedule helps with the heavy workload. You will get great opportunities to put on your resume.

    Cons

    Poor development of young engineers. Managers play favorites and the ratings system is arbitrary and only depends on how much your manager favors you.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    OXY will continue to loose their top talent and top young talent unless:
    1. Begin compensation programs that keep pace with the industry
    2. Develop more comprehensive strategies to develop young talent
    3. Continue to provide challenges for best talent
    4. Listen to young talent

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 4 people found this helpful

    Oxy IT - Good and Bad

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - IT Specialist in Houston, TX
    Current Employee - IT Specialist in Houston, TX

    I have been working at Occidental Petroleum full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    The corporate culture is pretty good. The benefits package is amazing. They actually have a retirement plan in addition to the matching 401k plan. The employees have a tendency to stay here for a long time. They really do try to value their human capital - at least for everyone except IT. If you work on the O&G side of things (Geologist, etc), I hear the pay is pretty awesome. Vacation time is generous - you also get sick time that doesn't count against your vacation days.
    They are moving to a service-oriented (think ITIL/ITSM) IT model. This is a good thing.

    Cons

    They treat IT infrastructure people as pure cost. System admins burn out due to the constant "do more with less" mentality and absolutely zero appreciation. High turnover rate there.
    Expect to be on call, and to be told that you need to be attached to your phone even when you're NOT on call. Pay is below industry average.
    If you are early (or early-ish) career, the 'bonus' is almost an insult.
    IT raises are also a joke. If you want an appreciable bump in pay, be prepared to move to another company, or pray that you can move to a different group within Oxy and get a promotion in the process.
    No 365 reviews of management. Some of the managers are absolutely terrible - but they know how to take credit for other people's work and throw their people under the bus, so upper management thinks they're great. If you can market yourself well, you'll probably do fine. Favoritism is pretty rampant in some areas.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take a good, hard look at how you treat the people that keep you running. Storage, Server Admins, Network, infrastructure tools like AD and Citrix, these people are the backbone that make it possible. Maybe you should consider treating them that way - or they're going to continue fleeing to places that do.
    I would recommend Oxy as a career choice (as in, stay there for 20) if you work somewhere other than any kind of IT role that isn't application (ie Maximo) specific - but after more than two years at Oxy, I honestly couldn't in good conscience recommend Oxy to any kind of IT infrastructure professional. The pay is lower than industry average, and so is the level of appreciation. I really hope you can fix this shortcoming.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. Great place to start, then jump to an independent

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Production/Operations Engineer in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Production/Operations Engineer in Houston, TX

    I worked at Occidental Petroleum full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    - Good people, mentors and senior technical staff are open to help entry level people
    - Given a lot of reponsibility from day 1; sometimes it feels like a sink-or-swim but they won't let you "sink" - as a result you will learn a lot very fast
    - Pretty flexible - most managers won't micro-manage you as long as you meet project deadlines

    Cons

    - Permian business unit is entrenched with very experienced people - as a young person you will most likely not have a "seat at the table"
    - Slow to rotate young people into new positions, especially if you don't play politics
    - Big beauracracy - had to get approval from GM just to do $250k well repair projects with positive rates of return - kind of a joke for a business unit that profits ~$3B/yr.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful

    Very little beaurocracy...kind of disorganized

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Geologist in Bakersfield, CA
    Current Employee - Geologist in Bakersfield, CA

    I have been working at Occidental Petroleum full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Lots of flexibility. Ideas can become reality very quickly. There are very few processes and very little red tape. Pay is around average for the industry.

    Cons

    Lack of processes makes disorganization fairly common. Flexibility leads to too much change, with reorganizations every year or two. Oxy has done layoffs in the past during downturns (although not since 2008 or so). Limited number of international work locations. California business units are being spun-off into a new company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Reorgs need to be handled more quickly. Announcing a reorganization and waiting months to release details kills morale.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful

    Los Angeles Legal Experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Legal Secretary in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Legal Secretary in Los Angeles, CA

    I worked at Occidental Petroleum full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Stellar benefits, great salary, and if you had a good boss, generally nice people. Rarely had overtime.

    Cons

    No yearly reviews, not much communication with staff until after the fact of a change, antiquated approach to resolving physical data solutions and software choices. A lot of political nonsense to make attorneys happy whether deserving or not.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Reward where due more frequently; communication and sensitive matters were generally handled in an offhand, un-thought-out way at last minute; not enough attention paid to respect for staff. If you had a good boss, all was well -- if not, you were sunk.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful

    Solid work life balance, lagging in compensation

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Land Negotiator in Houston, TX
    Current Employee - Land Negotiator in Houston, TX

    I have been working at Occidental Petroleum full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    9/80 work schedule, creating new management opportunities for mid career employees, office location is good, solid internship / early career program for most disciplines.

    Cons

    Compensation not really tied to performance, does not fire poor performers, hard to predict the direction of the company, food court in downstairs lobby is overpriced and bad,

    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful

    Oxy

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Occidental Petroleum

    Pros

    Good compensation for early career engineers.

    Cons

    Average work environment. Good managers are rare. No training.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focus on employees

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful

    It's okay if you like working in a frat house

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Contractor - Anonymous Contractor
    Former Contractor - Anonymous Contractor

    I worked at Occidental Petroleum as a contractor (more than a year)

    Pros

    Helpful co-workers, good restaurants nearby

    Cons

    Management lives in its own bubble

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. Very good work environment, however it all depends on where you work. Some departments are less relaxed than others.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Intern - Anonymous Intern
    Current Intern - Anonymous Intern

    I have been working at Occidental Petroleum as an intern

    Pros

    Not very stressful work environment and a lot of encouraging people to turn to.

    Cons

    Very strict about GPA requirements

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be more open minded about grades especially once interns have proven their ability to work.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 6 people found this helpful

    Job was not bad, too much politics

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Intern - IT Intern in Dallas, TX
    Former Intern - IT Intern in Dallas, TX

    I worked at Occidental Petroleum as an intern (less than a year)

    Pros

    I was only an intern, so I didn't get the full-time experience. They treat the interns very well, paid apartment for the summer, multiple intern events throughout the summer, and good pay for an internship. The work I did was good industry experience.

    Cons

    It felt like there was too much politics going on. Lots of talking behind other people's backs. Management followed stock prices too closely, and it affected the work environment. I worked hard all summer, including pulling an over-nighter to help catch up on work, and received nothing but positive feedback, until my end of summer review. My boss told me that I had been doing a poor job all summer and it was my fault that the project was behind (even though it was almost a year behind when I started on it as an intern), I believe one of my co-workers went behind my back and threw me under the bus, and I didn't feel like it was fair to blame me for the project's failure. There was a lot of finger pointing and bad talking about people within the company, which was not enjoyable.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't stress the stock price as much, and encourage an open, honest working environment. Cut all the political crap.

    No opinion of CEO

Occidental Petroleum Photos

Street view of the Occidental Petroleum headquarter office located in Westwood, Los Angeles, CA (Photo by Coolcaesar - available under CC-BY-NC-SA 3.0 & GFDL, v1.118)
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