Occidental Petroleum

  www.oxy.com
  www.oxy.com
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Occidental Petroleum Reviews

Updated September 18, 2014
Updated September 18, 2014
153 Reviews
3.1
153 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Occidental Petroleum President & CEO Stephen I. Chazen
Stephen I. Chazen
79 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • 9/80 work schedule and good benefits package (in 19 reviews)

  • 9/80 work schedule is great and they are good at rewarding their employees with time off and company get togethers (in 13 reviews)


Cons
  • Hostile work environment, employee favorites and double standards with supervisors and HR (in 10 reviews)

  • Extremely low pay compared to other oil and gas companies (in 5 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  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 for 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.  

    adequate

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

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

    Pros

    good compensation, great area to work

    Cons

    lots of work, lots of stress

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 3 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 for 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
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  5.  

    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 for 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
  6.  

    Oxy Houston is a terrific employer!

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

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

    Pros

    Great salary.
    Great benefits.
    Secured job.
    Annual bonuses.
    Annual raises.
    Everyone here is educated, hard working and intense. If you see yourself like this then Oxy is definitely for you. Anyone looking to collect an easy paycheck though should abstain.

    Cons

    Conservative work environment where only upper management have a say regarding policy.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Consider integrating suggestions from those who actually do the work on the ground rather than from those who've only just studied Organizational Management. If your staff consistently tells you they cannot complete a task correctly within a given timeframe, maybe consider integrating their suggestions on how they might be able to do it.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 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 for 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
  8.  

    Fantastic Experience!!!

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

    I have been working at Occidental Petroleum as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    This company truly cares about their people. As an intern, having only worked 5 days thus far, I have been able to schedule a meeting with the CIO just to talk to him and get to know him more. In addition to that, Oxy is more than happy to fly other interns from various locations as far as Michigan into Houston just for an Intern social event.

    Cons

    My only reserve for this company is they are very focused on their Engineers and International Interns/Employees. Again I have only been here 5 days and we have had 3 pretty major meetings with top management, at two of these 3 the main speaker didn't even refer to my area of focus (IT). They did the activity where they said "Raise your hand if you are an Intern in [Engineering, OxyChem, Geology, from the UAE, etc.]". I guess though this is kind of to be expected with an oil company... I don't need my handheld as an IT guy.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be mindful of all moving parts of your company (especially of people that get your computers and rigs running).

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 5 people found this helpful  

    Awful experience - actively looking to get out

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

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

    Pros

    Fairly good collection of benefits, but nothing to move companies for.

    Cons

    Hostile work environment, employee favorites and double standards with supervisors and HR. Company is selling off its California business units due to poor management. Many professionals coming through Oxy and moving on in a short period of time.

    Houston manages most of what is left - if you want to commute out to West Texas to get to the fields, then I guess an engineering position may attract you. Hiring and firing cycles are frequent. If you are looking for a mature and professional environment then don't come to Oxy.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Try to turn the companies reputation around through better employee relations - Oxy is becoming an operator nobody wants to work for.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Oxy is a lovely place

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

    I have been working at Occidental Petroleum full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Lots of projects to work on

    Cons

    cant think of any now

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 7 people found this helpful  

    The political minefield they call Occidental Petroleum, where it's not about what you know, but who and saying yes.

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

    I have been working at Occidental Petroleum full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Some good people, decent benefits, flexible work schedule as long as you're working 60 hours per week, there aren't any 980's where I live. They have some good folks but are hemorrhaging them right now to others willing to offer more money, better work life balance and who actually pay for performance.

    Cons

    Politics rule promotions, it's not what you know, it's who. Despite their assertion people are not their primary resource, with all of the reorganization and becoming a smaller company means less people, therefore they overwork the people that are there, use the performance review system to beat people down, are obsessed with head count and would rather pay 3 times as much using consultants to get rid of a direct employee. I can't see how spending 3x more money for the convenience of being able to get rid of someone without having to fabricate a case in the performance review system is a benefit to the company. Low morale in most people who have been there a while and are honest. There is no pay for performance, and anyone that says there is just happens to be on the sunny side of the field for now or is a sacrificial anode. Oxy pays for blind obedience, inner circles are filled with yes men asking what's in it for them, you are expected to push the ethics envelope, not visibly of course and if you don't you become a liability or at best someone on the way out.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Do the shareholders know how much money is being wasted on consultants? No. Do you surround yourself with yes men? Yes. Are people really your greatest asset? No. Do you pay for performance? No. You have a number of positional managers, not leaders, but those that rule and sometimes terrorize by position alone. You do not reward leadership or value diversity which includes differing ideas. Ethics are desired but get in the way of the big fish getting what they want, so you stretch the rules a bit to create a double standard that if a regular employee was involved in would get slapped down; enter the yes man, the sacrificial anode, plausible deniability; exit the better employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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