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BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, cut its stake in U.S. oil and gas producer Occidental Petroleum Corp. by about 9 per cent last year, according to a securities filing on Friday.

The firm beneficially owned 53.69 million Occidental shares at the end of December, down five million from a year earlier. The stake was valued at US$1.22-billion on Friday.

BlackRock declined to comment. The firm has urged companies to prepare their businesses to live in a low-carbon environment by the middle of this century.

Occidental Petroleum has embraced carbon emissions reductions and laid out a plan to achieve net-zero emissions by 2040. A company representative did not reply to a request for comment on BlackRock’s share sales.

Occidental Petroleum’s market value sank 60 per cent last year as oil demand and prices tumbled and debt from its 2019 purchase of Anadarko Petroleum drove losses. It lost US$14.36-billion in the first nine months of 2020. Full-year results are set to be released on Feb. 16.

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