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Algeria has won what may prove a pyrrhic victory by blocking Total’s takeover of some of its most strategically important oil fields and forcing Anadarko Petroleum Corporation’s new owner, Occidental Petroleum Corporation, to retain an investment that it did not want but which at least can generate considerable income. Having agreed to maintain operations under the old Anadarko Algeria Corporation name, Occidental president and chief executive Vicki Hollub on 6 May called Algeria a “core asset” – albeit one that could potentially be sold “if we got an incoming offer for Algeria that was something that we couldn’t refuse”.