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Exxon Mobil hires Jefferies, mulls UK North Sea sale: Bloomberg
Posted on Wednesday, 09 October 2019 12:57
Jefferies is helping Exxon Mobil weigh options for its UK North Sea assets that may include a sale worth as much as USD 2.00 billion, sources with knowledge of the process told Bloomberg. According to the people, who asked not to be named as the information has not yet been made public, the Texan oil and gas powerhouse has already started gauging interest ahead of a formal auction. The sources cautioned there is no certainty the review would lead to a divestment and both the corporation and Jefferies declined to comment when contacted by Bloomberg. Bloomberg’s article coincides with another report by the news provider which suggests Exxon Mobil and an advisor are in the early stages of considering selling Malaysian upstream assets for between USD 2.00 billion and USD 3.00 billion. The publications on the heels of the oil and gas giant finalising an agreement to sell its Norwegian North Sea operations to a venture backed by Eni of Italy and HitecVision for USD 4.50 billion. Exxon Mobil is aggressively pursuing a programme to divest non-core assets totalling USD 15.00 billion by 2021 and instead focus on production growth at home, particularly in the Permian Basin. Operations currently in the market or under consideration include those in Mobile Bay, Gulf of Mexico shelf and deepwater; Azerbaijan; and offshore Australia. In the September announcement, senior vice president Neil Chapman said: “Our objective is to have the strongest, most competitive Upstream portfolio in the industry. “We’re achieving that by adding the best set of projects we’ve had in many years and divesting assets that have lower long-term strategic value.” Exxon Mobil has had a presence in the UK’s offshore oil and gas industry since the first exploration activities in the North Sea began in 1964, according to the group’s UK website. The combined investment from that time is equivalent to almost GBP 33.00 billion at today’s prices. Exxon Mobil’s involvement in the North Sea is managed through a 50:50 joint venture with Shell, which is still the designated operator for many of the fields. © Zephus Ltd