Occidental Petroleum’s net profit for the third quarter of 2009 was $927m, a 60% decrease compared with the $2.3bn recorded during the third quarter of 2008.

The oil and gas exploration company’s Q3 net profit, however, saw a 36% increase compared to the second quarter of 2009 because of higher global crude oil prices.

Occidental chairman and CEO Dr Ray Irani said that the company’s year-on-year production growth was 7% for Q3 and 8% for the first nine months of 2009.

“Our Kern County discovery has made a significant contribution to this production growth. Kern County gross production run rates grew from 7,700boe per day around the end of the first quarter, to 17,300boe per day at the end of the second quarter and to approximately 26,000boe per day at the end of the third quarter,” Irani said.

The company’s Q3 profit from the oil and gas sector was $1.5bn compared with $3.6bn for the corresponding period in 2008.

The decrease in profit was attributed to lower crude oil and natural gas prices, which were partly counterbalanced by higher oil and gas sales volumes and reduced operating expenses.