Energy Intelligence is pleased to announce that Vicki Hollub, President and CEO of Occidental, has been named Energy Intelligence’s Energy Executive of the Year for 2023.

The award recognizes Hollub’s bold vision to transform Oxy through its pursuit of a trailblazing low-carbon strategy and the acquisition of Anadarko Petroleum, advancing the company’s tradition of punching above its weight in the global oil and gas industry.

Hollub is recognized, in particular, for her innovation in aiming to build a large business around direct air capture (DAC), a nascent carbon capture technology that could play an important role in addressing global CO2 emissions while simultaneously setting some of the US oil industry’s most ambitious carbon targets.

Hollub was elected by the leaders of the world’s top energy companies. She is the 27th winner of this distinguished honor and the first woman to be named Energy Executive of the Year. Hollub will accept the award at the annual Energy Intelligence Forum held October 17-19 in London.

“Vicki has been undeterred by the challenges of carbon capture and has instead set about building a thriving business of scale to drive its costs down,” said Raja Sidawi, Chairman and CEO of Energy Intelligence. “This approach sets Oxy apart from its independent E&P peers and even outflanks larger integrated rivals in this space.”

Hollub has spent almost all of her four-decade career in the oil and gas industry working for Oxy. After graduating from the University of Alabama with a degree in petroleum engineering in 1981, she joined Cities Service, which was purchased by Oxy a year later. She rose through a series of roles managing Oxy’s assets in the US and abroad before becoming CEO in April 2016.

Hollub has put her unique stamp on Oxy’s long tradition of innovative and independent-thinking leaders. Oxy has long shown a willingness to move against industry consensus, becoming the first oil company to secure its future in Libya during the nationalizations of the 1970s. In the following decades, the company outmaneuvered larger companies in complex oil and gas developments, establishing leading positions in places such as Colombia, UAE, Qatar and Oman that were typically reserved for majors. Oxy’s aggressive expansion in the US onshore was solidified through the purchase of the Elk Hills Naval Reserve in California and the acquisition of Altura in the Permian Basin, which propelled Oxy to become known as the “king of the Permian” well before the shale revolution, giving it an enviable position that continues today.

In 2019, Hollub’s first transformative acquisition as CEO came with the $55 billion merger with Anadarko, which required fending off challenges from both a much larger rival and a prominent US activist investor. Her tenacity in completing that deal delivered additional shale resources in the Permian and DJ Basins and cash-flow-rich assets in the Gulf of Mexico and Algeria. This larger scale and asset mix has, in turn, provided Oxy with the flexibility to carry forward its low-carbon ambitions.

Emboldened by its carbon management strategy, Oxy in 2020 became the first – and still largest – US oil company to commit to net-zero Scope 3 emissions by mid-century. The strategy involves leveraging Oxy’s decades of leadership in CO2-based enhanced oil recovery as a springboard. Using a creative combination of venture investment, technology acquisition and commercial creativity, Oxy is set to deliver the world’s first commercial DAC facility in 2025, and then rapidly deploy this technology globally in subsequent years.

Vicki Hollub
 President & CEO