Berkshire Hathaway, led by billionaire Warren Buffett, has raised its ownership in Occidental Petroleum to just under 29%, reported Reuters, citing a regulatory filing.

The move follows the acquisition of an additional 2.95 million shares, as revealed by a regulatory filing.

The filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission indicated that Berkshire Hathaway invested around $176m for the additional shares, purchased in three transactions since 13 June 2024.

Following the latest share acquisition, Berkshire Hathaway’s holdings have risen to approximately 255.3 million shares, amounting to a stake valued at approximately $15.37bn as of 17 June 2024.

Warren Buffett’s conglomerate has been actively increasing its position in the oil company, with purchases this month reaching 5.5 million shares.

Earlier, Buffett stated that he does not intend to take over the Houston-based company.

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In August 2022, Berkshire obtained regulatory approval to purchase up to 50% of Occidental.

In addition to the common stock, Buffett’s company holds warrants to buy another 83.5 million shares of Occidental at $59.62 each.

In February 2024, Reuters reported that Occidental was exploring the sale of WES, a pipeline operator focused on natural gas in the US, which could be valued at more than $20bn, including debt.

The divestment forms part of Occidental’s strategy to reduce its significant debt, which was reported to be $18.5bn at the end of 2023.  

Last month, Occidental was reportedly considering the sale of its assets in the Permian Basin’s Barilla Draw region, which could garner more than $1bn.

The assets in question span around 27,500 net acres and produce an estimated 24,400 barrels of oil equivalent per day.