Updated at 2:53 pm EST
Occidental Petroleum (OXY) - Get Occidental Petroleum Corporation Report shares traded lower in late Thursday trading as a slide in global oil prices offset news that that billionaire investors Warren Buffett has upped his stake in the oil major for the third time in four months.
Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) - Get Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Report investment group purchased around $530 million in Occidental shares last week, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings, taking its overall stake to around 152.7 million shares. That gives Buffett a 16% stake in the group that's now worth around $8.52 billion.
Occidental shares were marked 0.45% higher in late-morning trading to change hands at $56.10 each, a move that would extend the stock's year-to-date gain to around 93.5%.
Buffett first began adding to his Occidental in March, following Carl Icahn's exit following three years of investment in the energy group, and bumped his stake again later that month.
Since then, global crude prices have surged more than 15% thanks in part to the U.S. ban on Russian crude sales. Occidental is also seen as attractive given its foothold in the shale-rich Permian Basin of West Texas and New Mexico as U.S. drillers focus on domestic assets and international rivals exit Russian joint ventures with the state-backed energy giant Rosneft.
U.S. drillers added seven new oil and gas rigs to their operations last week, according to data from energy group Baker Hughes, taking the overall total to 740, the highest in nearly two years as prices entice deeper investments in near-term production.
The Energy Department also said last month that domestic oil output is forecast to rise to just over 12 million barrels per day this year, an 850,000 increase, with nearly 13 million expected per day in 2023.
WTI futures for August delivery were marked $2.20 lower on the Thursday session at $104.00 per barrel while Brent contracts for the same month were last seen $1.97 lower at $109.82 per barrel