Companies: Big-Oil Belt Tightening

Big-Oil Belt Tightening

It was a drastic response to a flagging market. Citing continuing declines in petroleum prices, Atlantic Richfield, the sixth largest U.S. oil firm, last week unveiled a sweeping reorganization program. The Los Angeles-based concern (1984 sales: $25 billion) announced that it will shed all its refining and marketing operations east of the Mississippi, including 1,100 gas stations. The company also intends to pare down spending on exploration by 50% and abandon its copper and molybdenum businesses. More dramatically, ARCO's board of directors voted to increase significantly the firm's long-term borrowing. As a result, total indebtedness could reach more than 50% of...

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