ExxonMobil Collects Bids for UK Business: Press
ExxonMobil has invited bids for its UK North Sea oil and gas fields by October 28, Reuters reported on September 21 citing sources. Not part of the offer are its southern North Sea operations which are primarily gas.
Among the potential suitors are private equity-backed firms Neo and Chrysaor and listed companies including EnQuest, according to Reuters. Neo's owner HitecVision is one of the biggest non-state investors in Norway's upstream through its Var Energi joint venture with Italy's Eni, whereas Chrysaor is a major UK player which is reportedly in talks to merge with its rival Premier Oil.
ExxonMobil launched plans last year to withdraw from Europe's upstream sector, as it looks to increase its focus on bigger, higher-margin projects in the Americas and elsewhere.
Most of the US major's UK operations are managed through a joint venture, Shell Expro, but it gained others when it bought the US major Mobil. The assets ExxonMobil is looking to sell produce around 35,000 barrels of oil equivalent/day and this should rise to 60,000 boe/d by around 2023, according to Reuters.
ExxonMobil had hoped to raise $2bn from a UK sale late last year, but oil prices have fallen considerably since then. The company sold its Norwegian business to Var Energi for $4.5bn in 2019, and is seeking buyers for its stake in an offshore Romanian project as well. Its Dutch production, managed by another JV with Shell, NAM, is losing its core money-spinner, the Groningen field which is being closed ahead of time.