Occidental Petroleum Corp. CEO Vicki Hollub told the Woodlands Area Economic Development Partnership at a Jan. 10 luncheon the company intends to keep a presence in The Woodlands amid reports that the company will see some layoffs in the near future.

The event came a little more than a week after an announcement from Howard Hughes Corp. that it acquired the two former Anadarko office towers from Occidental Petroleum Corp. Dec. 30. The towers were renamed The Woodlands Towers at The Waterway, according to Howard Hughes Corp.

Occidental signed a 13-year lease with Howard Hughes for the larger, 808,000-square-foot tower at 1201 Lake Robbins Drive, The Woodlands, and a nearby warehouse, according to Howard Hughes Corp.

According to a Woodlands Area EDP release Jan. 17, Hollub said at the luncheon that Occidental’s Gulf of Mexico and International teams will remain in The Woodlands.

The Woodlands EDP CEO Gil Staley said while the news of layoffs within the company was not unexpected after the merger, the presence of the company in the tower is economically significant for the area.

"While layoffs are difficult on the employees and their families, it typically happens when there is a merger of this size," Staley told Community Impact Newspaper. "We understand how difficult this decision must be for Occidental and we certainly have empathy for those employees and their families who will be affected."

Staley said energy remains the largest business sector in The Woodlands area.

"We are excited that Occidental will occupy the largest building on the campus of The Woodlands Towers at The Waterway, which represents the largest single-tenant space in The Woodlands," he said.