Exclusive: Exxon agrees $4 billion sale of Norway oil and gas assets – sources

LONDON/ ABERDEEN, Scotland (Reuters) – Exxon Mobil (XOM.N) has agreed to sell its Norwegian oil and gas assets for up to $4 billion, marking the U.S. firm’s exit from production in the country after more than a century, three sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

FILE PHOTO: A logo of the Exxon Mobil Corp is seen at the Rio Oil and Gas Expo and Conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil September 24, 2018. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes

Exxon 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 (EQNR.OL) and Anglo-Dutch oil major Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L).

An Exxon spokeswoman said: “As a matter of practice, we don’t comment on commercial discussions.”

Shares in Exxon, the world’s biggest publicly traded oil company, rose 1.7% to a session high in New York after Reuters reported a sale had been agreed.

The Irving, Texas-based company has held talks in recent weeks with a number of interested parties including Oslo-listed companies Equinor, Aker BP (AKERBP.OL), and DNO (DNO.OL), Stockholm-listed Lundin Petroleum (LUPE.ST) as well as Var Energi, backed by Italy’s Eni (ENI.MI), and private equity firm Hitech Vision, industry sources said.

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

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

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

Jefferies declined to comment.

In 2017, Exxon’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 Exxon focused in recent years on growing its onshore U.S. shale production, particularly in the Permian basin, as well as developing huge oil discoveries in Guyana.

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

Reporting by Ron Bousso and Shadia Nasralla, additional reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis in Oslo, Gary McWilliams in Houston; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle and Susan Fenton

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