(Adds details on debt, comments from CEO on dividend, share buybacks)

HOUSTON, Nov 5 (Reuters) – U.S. oil producer Occidental Petroleum Corp will increase its fixed dividend payments to shareholders after cutting its debt levels to $25 billion, Chief Executive Officer Vicki Hollub said on Friday.

“We are going to get there sooner than we expected,” Hollub told analysts on a call to comment on the company’s third quarter results.

Occidental quadrupled its debt in 2019 to $40 billion after buying here Anadarko and its prized assets in U.S. huge Permian shale oilfield.

Hollub said share buybacks are “a longer-term possibility” to be discussed after the $25 billion debt target is met.

The company plans to increase dividends without production growth in the coming years, as it moves to reduce carbon emissions from its operations, Hollub said.

“We don’t need additional growth from production right now to be able to increase the dividend over the next couple of years,” she said. (Reporting by Sabrina Valle Editing by Chris Reese and Jonathan Oatis)

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