ADDISON, Texas (AP) _ Sun Exploration and Production Co. said Tuesday it was changing its name to Oryx Energy Co. to reflect its independence from Sun Co. Inc., from which it was spun off in November.

Oryx is named after a large antelope that has long, straight horns that sweep backward. The name change was approved by shareholders Tuesday and takes effect Wednesday.

Oryx could spend as much as $2 billion to expand its holdings internationally , Chairman Robert Hauptfuhrer told reporters.

He indicated the company is looking mainly at possible joint ventures in the North Sea, Southeast Asia, Africa and South America. He said political policy and government turmoil in other areas, especially the Middle East, make acquisitions there unlikely.

Oryx has $4 billion in assets. It was created when Radnor, Pa.-based Sun decided to spin off its exploration and production business, and concentrate on refining and retailing. Sun remains a large, mainly regional, refinery, distributing its products mainly under the Sunoco brand name.

Also Tuesday, Oryx announced the creation of a leveraged employee stock ownership plan with initial funding form a $110 million, 20-year private placement of debt.