End of an era: ExxonMobil set to exit Norway production

After more than a century in Norway, energy giant has agreed to sell oil and gas assets in the country, say sources.

    ExxonMobil is also considering selling its assets in the British North Sea after more than 50 years, industry sources told Reuters last month [File: Loren Elliott /Reuters]
    ExxonMobil is also considering selling its assets in the British North Sea after more than 50 years, industry sources told Reuters last month [File: Loren Elliott /Reuters]

    ExxonMobil has agreed to sell its Norwegian oil and gas assets for up to $4bn, marking the United States energy giant's exit from production in Norway after more than a century, three sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

    ExxonMobil said in June it was looking to sell its Norwegian upstream portfolio, which comprises minority stakes in more than 20 fields, operated by local producer Equinor and Anglo-Dutch oil major Royal Dutch Shell.

    An ExxonMobil spokeswoman said: "As a matter of practice, we don't comment on commercial discussions."

    Shares in ExxonMobil, the world's biggest publicly traded oil company, rose 1.7 percent to a session high in New York City after Reuters reported a sale had been brokered.

    The Irving, Texas-based company has held talks in recent weeks with a number of interested parties including Oslo-listed companies Equinor, Aker BP, and DNO; Stockholm-listed Lundin Petroleum; Var Energi, backed by Italy's Eni; and private equity firm HitecVision, industry sources said.

    Equinor, Lundin, DNO and Var were not immediately available to comment.

    The three sources said that ExxonMobil had closed the sale process in recent days with one buyer after agreeing on the terms of a sale.

    ExxonMobil hired investment bank Jefferies to run the sale process, banking sources told Reuters last month.

    Jefferies declined to comment.

    In 2017, ExxonMobil's net production from fields off Norway was around 170,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, according to its website.

    The sale, if approved by regulators and completed, comes after ExxonMobil focused in recent years on growing its onshore US shale production, particularly in the Permian Basin in the southwestern US, as well as developing huge oil discoveries in Guyana.

    ExxonMobil is also considering selling its assets in the British North Sea after more than 50 years, industry sources told Reuters last month.

    SOURCE: Reuters news agency