Talk:Occidental Petroleum

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California production status[edit]

I realize this is a minor issue compared to the WP:BLP-violating and WP:UNDUE stuff that's been going on here for a while, but I need to point out that Seeking Alpha, while providing great info for investors, is not a reliable source. It's essentially a blog with guest writers, nothing peer-reviewed. This piece happens to be wrong about one fact: Oxy is the third-largest oil producer, not the second-largest, in California. Here is the official 2009 report from the California Division of Oil and Gas; data is on page 66. (This is the most recent year for which statistics have been released; Chevron and Aera still blow them away, even adding in THUMS and Vintage, which are subsidiaries of Oxy.) If you're industrious you can get the 2011 numbers by querying this database (hit "back" to get other operators); the same relationship holds true, with Oxy coming in third (they're still first in gas production by a huge margin because of the colossal Elk Hills reserve). Antandrus (talk) 02:15, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

Antandrus-- You need to make the case. "Hit piece" is very strong language.[edit]

I have properly sourced all of my contributions to this article. My knowledge of this subject is extensive and bullet proof. I think that an intellectually honest argument would acknowledge that I have included no false statements. Rather, I have provided a comprehensive and factual record of a major and undeniably controversial company. Rather than automatically delete my hard work and honest effort to make a contribution to an important subject why don't you show exactly what it is that you object to and why you think it should be completely deleted?

I am planning on inviting many "neutral" contributors and administrators to evaluate your relentless purging of any material that is less than positive regarding Ray Irani and Occidental Petroleum. Above and beyond that, I may well seek an arbitration. However, I would be willing to work directly with you if you will provide a written report that persuasively and thoroughly supports your edits.

Your allegation of a "hit piece" violates Wikipedia policy as it is a personal attack and suggests that my work is dishonest. You need to provide a factual basis for your deletions or else I can only assume that you are vandalizing this article. I would hate to think that about any of our contributors to this article but you could reassure me by providing a real rationale for your massive edits.

Cowboy128 (talk) 04:20, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

To answer some specifics: my edits are hardly massive. I reverted your absurdly undue weight and WP:BLP-violating screed about Irani, which doesn't belong -- how many people now have removed it? You do realize that you ALONE are edit-warring against a lot of editors who disagree with you, yes? My other edits you can look for yourself; I corrected a couple figures and changed a cite. We work by consensus here, and consensus so far is completely against you. Antandrus (talk) 05:03, 10 December 2011 (UTC)
Another link I recommend you read is this one about soapboxing. If you are truly editing from a neutral point of view -- pretty important here -- it should be impossible to tell from your edits what your opinion of Mr. Irani is. How do you think your edits come across? Antandrus (talk) 05:22, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

I think there have been three who disagree and have blown away the whole substance without any real rationale. One admits being employed indirectly by Occidental, you have suddenly appeared (and from where, I wonder?) , and another blew away my contributions without any discussion tonight. There is no consensus here. "Screed" is absurd and reveals your obsession with eliminating any negative facts about Irani and Occidental. Honestly, can you tell me how neutral you are? I think anyone reading this would laugh out loud at your "neutrality." — Preceding unsigned comment added by Cowboy128 (talkcontribs) 05:42, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

Please respect talk page guidelines, and post in the correct order, OK?
"Hit piece" is accurate. People coming to an encyclopedia, seeing an article on Oxy, which has been around for a hundred years in one form or another, and seeing a section on "history", might expect to find -- amazingly -- something about the history of the company. In your version, they find a lot of detailed and highly negative info about Ray Irani. This is an article about the company. Have you read the undue weight link yet? If not, please do. The section you are insisting we include, over the objections of many others, is a textbook example of giving something undue weight. Trim that back to one paragraph, removing POV language. It's clear that you are outraged; but this must not come across to the reader. Mind WP:NPOV. Thanks, Antandrus (talk) 06:01, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

As you can see from the section below, an uninvolved admin has declined to restore the article to before Cowboy's changes. I believe the admin is wrong in the sense that a consensus has been reached as to the inappropriateness of the material, but that's their view, and we have to accept it. As far as I can tell, Cowboy (a single purpose account with a single agenda) is alone, and there are many editors who disagree with him. Some have contributed here on this page, and others have voiced their opinion by reversion/edit summaries. Cowboy's sometimes veiled, sometimes direct accusations of editors are garbage and should not be taken seriously. I'm not sure what more there is to do here to confirm that a consensus has already been reached. I welcome any constructive suggestions as to an efficient resolution of this.--Bbb23 (talk) 18:32, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

See WP:WRONG, it isn't an endorsement of the version of the text. tedder (talk) 18:47, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

I've opened a topic at WP:BLPN.--Bbb23 (talk) 19:17, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

Restoration before protection[edit]

This edit request has been answered.

Please restore the article back to Johnuniq's last version. Several editors, including Johnuniq, Antandrus, and I believe the current state of the article is at least WP:UNDUE with respect to BLP issues.--Bbb23 (talk) 16:09, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

Not done: Please discuss the issue with the users involved to reach a consensus, instead of attempting to continue the edit war by proxy. Anomie 18:03, 10 December 2011 (UTC)
I'm a little confused, as I've never encountered a case like this before. The article is fully protected, and indefinitely. The only user who prefers the current version is one single purpose account. Antandrus (talk) 00:54, 11 December 2011 (UTC)
It was supposed to be protected for ~10 days. Fixed. Of course, that isn't an invitation to wait 10 days and restore your preferred version, the idea is to discuss the issues and reach consensus in that time. tedder (talk) 01:33, 11 December 2011 (UTC)
I know an admin needs to prevent edit warring and cannot get involved in content on affected pages, but there needs to be a reality check here: the edit in question is soapboxing and the editor is an SPA who has been rewarded for edit warring, and who has no clue about proper procedures and no incentive to learn. It's quite simple: the article can include due material that is supported by secondary sources, but no page on Wikipedia should be used to soapbox about the evils of an organization or individual. The soapboxing will have to be removed because Wikipedia's procedures protect the guilty as well as the innocent. A good way for a new editor to think about the situation is to ponder how articles on politicians or other notable individuals would look if every sourced factoid could be included with synthesis like "that resulted in hundreds of company job terminations, the majority of whom were veteran employees, in 2007-2008, at the height of the recession"—wow, that Irani is really evil, we get it. Johnuniq (talk) 02:21, 11 December 2011 (UTC)


Because Tedder believes no consensus has been reached on which version of the article to retain, I propose a vote. You have two choices: "Current Version" (the state of the article now after the lock) or "Previous version" (the state of the article just before Cowboy's last reversion).

  • Previous version. The current version is seriously WP:UNDUE and WP:COATRACK. It is essentially an attack piece on Ray Irani and, to the extent any of the material belongs anywhere, it belongs in that article, not in this one.--Bbb23 (talk) 01:47, 11 December 2011 (UTC)
  • Previous, of course. It's glaringly out-of-place, axe-grinding material. Think of a reader wanting to learn about the company Occidental Petroleum: where they are, what they do, what the history of the firm is, -- and encountering this massive Irani-the-evil stuff. It's got to go. Antandrus (talk) 02:27, 11 December 2011 (UTC)
  • Previous As I wrote above, "no page on Wikipedia should be used to soapbox about the evils of an organization or individual". The edits are a clear example of anyone can edit being misinterpreted: this is not the place to right the wrongs of the world. Johnuniq (talk) 02:44, 11 December 2011 (UTC)

I vote for the current version. I would be open to revising a few sentences at a later date. Again, I reject your characterization of "soapboxing" and see no statements about "evil" or anything remotely approaching that in my material. Whether or not "it's got to go" will be decided according to well established Wiki policies. Cowboy128 (talk) 08:48, 11 December 2011 (UTC)

For someone with a total of 78 edits (to Occidental Petroleum and Ray R. Irani and related talk pages), starting in July 2011, it would be more appropriate to ask what the appropriate policies are, rather than to pretend some authority. If you cannot identify the soapboxing, you should not be editing. Johnuniq (talk) 09:54, 11 December 2011 (UTC)
  • Previous version. As I've noted before, I have a WP:COI with this article, but I believe that the current version of the history section does not comply with WP:UNDUEWEIGHT and WP:NPOV. - CBuiltother (talk) 18:46, 11 December 2011 (UTC)
  • Previous version, though we should not need to vote on something so obvious. Once protection is lifted, any further insertion of WP:COATRACK or WP:SOAPBOX material can and will be treated as a user conduct issue. --John (talk) 19:03, 11 December 2011 (UTC)
  • It should have been treated that way this time instead of fully protecting the article while retaining the problematic version.--Bbb23 (talk) 19:06, 11 December 2011 (UTC)

Invoking BLP in clearly inapplicable cases has a chilling effect on discussion

Because of the importance of BLP, and the extra sanctions administrators may invoke to enforce it, citing BLP in inappropriate circumstances can be seen as a Godwin's Law type of argument, which serves to alienate and bully other editors. Editors who cry "BLP!" in an inappropriate context should be warned that such stifles free discussion, and that they may be blocked for disruptive editing if invoking BLP as justification for an edit when BLP clearly did not apply.Cowboy128 (talk) 02:44, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

Gentlemen, I do thank you for your interest in this article. While I can understand why Fleishman-Hillard is obliged to monitor the site and is contractually required to sanitize what Occidental considers to be negative (albeit accurate) information about the company, I would just like to point out that the facts are our friends. They truly are. So, in the spirit of the holiday season why don't we simply try to work out our differences of opinion and try to find a true consensus. I apologize if I have in any way impugned the integrity of any contributors to this piece. That certainly wasn't my intention. So, let me just say that I would truly welcome your suggestions for a revised version. And I wish you each of you a very joyous holiday season.

I can live without the passive aggression.--Bbb23 (talk) 02:43, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

Well, I do suggest that you contribute some positive and constructive criticism. Again, if you can list your objections for me in a logical and convincing fashion I would be more than willing to consider your revisions. You seem to claim some overwhelming wisdom in this matter and yet you never quite get around to telling me exactly what your concerns are. You seem to just hit the "undo" button but refuse to make your case in a coherent, point-by-point argument. I welcome your suggestions. Tell me where I've gone wrong! Cowboy128 (talk) 02:53, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

Have you read any of the links we've given you? WP:SOAP, WP:COATRACK, WP:UNDUE, -- WP:NPOV?
The arguments in the section above your comment are positive and constructive. Constructive, in this case, is going back to the previous version, and the consensus is clear. Thank you, Antandrus (talk) 03:23, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
  • I went ahead and implemented consensus as indicated in the section above, where five experienced editors express a strong preference for the previous version. Must emphasize that consensus does not require unanimity. Further discussion is always OK. Antandrus (talk) 02:16, 22 December 2011 (UTC)

I'm sorry but could you list the five experienced editors for me? I wasn't able to come up with five. Cowboy128 (talk) 06:47, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

It's not really relevant, but the bold "previous" items shown above are the views of five editors. Please check their contributions to judge whether they are experienced. Johnuniq (talk) 07:14, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

Oh, well I am just a little confused since some of them say that they are infrequent contributors. Cowboy128 (talk) 07:40, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

Consensus is against you, and I have restored the consensus version. Please cease edit-warring. If you want your version you are going to have to convince us. Thank you, Antandrus (talk) 13:37, 23 December 2011 (UTC)
I just came across this dispute. (The article is on my watchlist because I contributed the photo of the HQ.) I fully concur with Antandrus. Cowboy128 needs to get a life. --Coolcaesar (talk) 16:04, 23 December 2011 (UTC)
Who says they are "infrequent contributors"?--Bbb23 (talk) 16:16, 23 December 2011 (UTC)
That's an old statement on my user page—something I keep intending to clean up, but somehow it never seems sufficiently important. @Cowboy128: When you visit a user page or a user talk page, the toolbox on the left includes a link to "User contributions" which shows what an editor has actually done. At the bottom, is an "Edit count" link which shows, for example, that I have over 18,000 edits (mostly reverting nonsense, I'm afraid). Johnuniq (talk) 23:08, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

Antandrus, I was a little concerned that you didn't reveal a conflict of interest on this talk page. It seems that you have written extensively for Vintage which is, of course, a subsidiary of Occidental. Could you address that for your fellow editors?

Coolcaesar-- you are not someone to be taken seriously. A low blow. Tell me about your life and how it brings you to this page? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Cowboy128 (talkcontribs) 05:25, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

The Mediation Committee has received a request for formal mediation of the dispute relating to "Occidental Petroleum". As an editor concerned in this dispute, you are invited to participate in the mediation. Mediation is a voluntary process which resolves a dispute over article content by facilitation, consensus-building, and compromise among the involved editors. After reviewing the request page, the formal mediation policy, and the guide to formal mediation, please indicate in the "party agreement" section whether you agree to participate. Because requests must be responded to by the Mediation Committee within seven days, please respond to the request by 30 December 2011.

Discussion relating to the mediation request is welcome at the case talk page. Thank you. Message delivered by MediationBot (talk) on behalf of the Mediation Committee. 12:46, 23 December 2011 (UTC)Cowboy128 (talk) 05:36, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

I think it's time for you to leave. Single-purpose accounts with an obvious agenda are not welcome on Wikipedia. You have the gall to ask editors of eight years standing about their alleged "conflicts of interest" when you are a bloody obvious agenda account. How many times do we have to tell you this? Antandrus (talk) 05:42, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
@Cowboy128: Sorry but you are going the wrong way. Just stop and think for a moment: this is a website where anyone can add whatever they want. If that's true, how come most articles are not full of POV crap? The answer is that there are a bunch of procedures, and lots of experienced editors to apply those procedures. A single-purpose account with an agenda is not going to be able to use Wikipedia to right great wrongs. Please find other topics to edit, or find another website. Your above comments are very inappropriate, and no mediation is necessary because there is no dispute: only one single-purpose account with an agenda. Johnuniq (talk) 07:26, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

I would suggest that all parties look at the British Petroleum article for comparison purposes. Also, look to Tony Hayward and tell me your thoughts on how he was written up. Was Tony Hayward "denigrated"? Too much space wasted on him? My view is that the British Petroleum article allows people to understand the company in a very comprehensive way. Was too much "negative" information placed in the article? Was the spill hyped up and exaggerated by single agenda contributors? Cowboy128 (talk) 09:19, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

I have put a summary of Cowboy128's edits at the user's talk (permalink) to make it easier to see what edits have been performed. My interpretation is that they focus too much on negativity associated with a particular individual, where much of the negativity is by association (X was paid millions by the company while X was responsible for sacking thousands of workers). No known secondary source has made the association that there is something wrong with X's actions, so an editor should not be using Wikipedia to make those points. If there are problems in another article (British Petroleum), those issues should be fixed via discussion at its talk page. Johnuniq (talk) 11:22, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

I think you have misunderstood my comments. First of all, you are confusing what you consider to be "negative" material with some kind of agenda. Facts are facts, neither positive nor negative but simply a reflection of reality. Nowhere in the article will you find a statement that something is wrong with any of the actions of the company or its executives. The controversies associated with Irani and Occidental have been written about extensively in the WSJ, New York Times, Bloomberg and many other major international publications. You say that too much of the "focus" on Irani is negative but you clearly prefer that only a positive focus be employed on this page. Lastly, obviously, I wasn't suggesting that there are "problems" on the BP page but rather that the article was far better written than the current Oxy page and worth looking at as an appropriate template for further revisions. I certainly hope you don't start editing the BP page! — Preceding unsigned comment added by Cowboy128 (talkcontribs) 06:47, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

Notably, User:Cowboy128 has still not responded to the issue of whether he/she has ever reviewed the core Wikipedia policies noted above by Antandrus or how his/her edits conform to those policies. THAT is the critical issue here. Editors who fail to conform their edits to core policies will be banned. Please see User:Ericsaindon2 for an excellent example. (I got fed up with his antics and initiated arbitration; he was temporarily suspended by ArbCom, but then was permanently banned after repeatedly creating sockpuppet accounts.)
As for those policies, they are nonnegotiable. The Wikimedia Foundation has repeatedly sided with admins who banned users who failed to conform their edits to those policies, particularly NOR and NPOV. --Coolcaesar (talk) 15:47, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes. I too remember the Ericsaindon case. -- Cowboy, nobody, as far as I know, is disputing whether or not your assertions in the article are true, i.e. that they are "facts". The problem is that they violate undue weight, soapboxing, coatracking, and the other parts of NPOV that make it mean exactly what it says -- neutral point-of-view.
As an example unrelated to the petroleum industry and excessive CEO compensation, I remember a BLP problem some time back, where a writer with a significant career had a small article on Wikipedia. This person had been arrested once in his life. Someone had dug out all the facts about the (minor!!) arrest -- date, time, sentence, allegation, plea, result, etc. -- and inserted them into the article. They took up about three-quarters of the article. Justifiably furious, the writer himself showed up demanding all this absurd detail be removed -- at least down to a single line which gave it due weight with regard to his entire career. Perhaps this example might help you understand the undue-weight part of NPOV. Antandrus (talk) 16:38, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

I am sorry but this is so inappropriate. Your comparison is really pretty astonishing. I wonder why you made it since it is so extreme and irrelvant. As for Coolcaesar you must be joking. Perhaps you should be editing the North Korean version of Wikepedia. And good luck on banning me! Cowboy128 (talk) 23:05, 7 January 2012 (UTC)

What I don't understand is why any editor continues to talk to you at all. I gave up on you a long time ago.--Bbb23 (talk) 23:07, 7 January 2012 (UTC)

Updating With Latest Information[edit]

Hey everyone,

First I want to disclose that Oxy is a client of my employer New Media Strategies, giving me a WP:COI. Due to this, I will just be suggesting edits and asking other editors to implement them if they are approved of by the community.

Some of the information in this article draws from outdated sources, specifically information about Oxy's financials and production. I have an updated draft of the article in my user sandbox that keeps the same content as this article but updates the figures and sources with the latest data. All the edits are purely factual and are sourced from reliable sources. The edits are located in the opening section, the "financial performance" section, the "operations" section, and the info box. Could someone please review my suggested edits? I'd appreciate any feedback. Thanks. Namk48 (talk) 18:47, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

Your approach is appreciated. I don't have time to do this now and may not get to it for a bit. If others want to evaluate Namk's proposed changes, my suggestion is to take one of the sections from Namk's sandbox, copy it, and paste it into the actual article. Then click on Show changes to see what's changed and whether it's appropriate.
Namk, if no one responds to your request, give me until about Sunday, September 2. If I still haven't done anything, feel free to remind me on my Talk page. Thanks.--Bbb23 (talk) 01:22, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
I did exactly that -- they look good to me. Namk, feel free to implement your changes. I may make a minor change afterwards -- the claim of being the largest oil producer in California (by barrels equivalent) is misleading, since it folds in gas. That's not a common way to present that data. Chevron produces four times as much oil in California as does Oxy, and Aera is close behind Chevron. Otherwise, good to go. Antandrus (talk) 01:48, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
Not only have you dealt with it, but you saved me from doing it. You are a wonderful fellow.--Bbb23 (talk) 01:58, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
Thank you both for your help. Antandrus, as a point of protocol I do not implement changes to articles when I have a COI. Could you possibly implement the edits if you have time? Thanks. Namk48 (talk) 13:39, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
Can you fix the one issue Antandrus pointed out in your sandbox? I'm not sure I see why you can't make the change and refer to the talk page in your edit summary.--Bbb23 (talk) 00:09, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I have fixed the version in my sandbox, please let me know if it works. Bbb23, it is my company's policy (New Media Strategies) to not directly implement edits to client pages, even if they have been agreed to by other editors. If you have time to implement the changes, I would greatly appreciate it. Namk48 (talk) 15:49, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

Thank you -- I will do it -- I'm at work at the moment but will do it when I'm home. Antandrus (talk) 17:32, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
(Done -- yesterday sometime) Antandrus (talk) 23:32, 31 August 2012 (UTC)

Oxy vs Ecuador[edit]

Occidental Petroleum vs Ecuador is the largest ISDS settlement to date. How does this article not mention it at all? — OwenBlacker (Talk) 00:50, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

Feel free to add it. For that matter, the case itself deserves an article. Antandrus (talk) 01:15, 19 November 2014 (UTC)