ExxonMobil to Sell Controversial Indonesian Assets

Facing heat from a string of human rights lawsuits, Exxon Mobil Corp. has announced its decision to sell its stake in a cluster of natural gas assets in Indonesia.

The assets include gas fields in Indonesia's resource-rich Aceh province, site of a bitter and prolonged feud between the government and separatist rebels.

"The company is marketing the shares held in three companies associated with Aceh gas and LNG (liquefied natural gas) producing operation in Indonesia," the company said in a statement.  "The sale does not involve any other ExxonMobil projects or interests in Indonesia".

One of the assets being sold is ExxonMobil Oil Indonesia, which faces serious allegations relating to alleged misconduct by its security forces overseeing the gas projects. In the latest twist to the lawsuit filed in 2001, a US federal court allowed it for hearing even as the company rejected the allegations.

However, the lawsuit did not figure in the statement with the company stating that the decision to sell was "consistent with ExxonMobil's long-standing practice of continually reviewing assets for their contribution to ExxonMobil's operating and financial objectives"

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