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ExxonMobil to sell £1.6 billion of North Sea Oil & Gas stakes

15/08/2019
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After 50 years of operations, ExxonMobil are planning to leave the North Sea Oil & Gas industry.

The Brent field is one of the largest stakes that ExxonMobil shares with Shell

The company is in talks with a number of other firms for the sale of its stakes in 40 Oil & Gas fields, with total expected value of £1.6 billion ($2 billion). Most of their portfolio is shared in a 50-50 joint venture with Royal Dutch Shell - who operate the fields - known as Esso Exploration and Production UK. 

Neither ExxonMobil nor Shell have commented on the proposed sales.

ExxonMobil become the third major US oil company to leave the North Sea, following Chevron and ConocoPhillips earlier this summer. It’s thought that each are shifting their attentions to North American shale projects, which produce a much quicker return on investment. 

There is speculation on who will purchase the shares from ExxonMobil, with one industry source highlighting the additional high costs of decommissioning the fields once they reach the end of their lives - which could reach $1.5 billion even with help from the government.

“Whoever buys Exxon’s fields will need to have deep pockets,” the source commented.

It is yet to be seen which companies will be interested in purchasing the stakes, with industry sources looking towards Chysaor and Ithaca Energy - who each snapped up portfolios from Chevron and ConocoPhillips - and Ineos, who are thought to be extending their interests in the North Sea. 

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ExxonMobil to sell £1.6 billion of North Sea Oil & Gas stakes - Time to read 2 min
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