ExxonMobil to sell $1bn of UK and North Sea assets

ExxonMobil Corp said on Wednesday it will sell non-operating interest in its UK and North Sea exploration and production assets to private-equity fund HitecVision for more than $1 billion.

“ExxonMobil has signed an agreement with HitecVision, through its wholly owned portfolio company NEO Energy, for the sale of most of ExxonMobil’s non-operated upstream assets in the United Kingdom central and northern North Sea,” said Exxon Mobil.

“The sale price of more than $1 billion is subject to closing adjustments, and has additional upside of approximately $300 million in contingent payments based on potential for increase in commodity prices.”

The agreement includes ownership interests in 14 producing fields operated primarily by Shell, including Penguins, Starling, Fram, the Gannet Cluster and Shearwater; Elgin Franklin fields operated by Total; and interests in the associated infrastructure.

ExxonMobil’s share of production from these fields was approximately 38,000 oil-equivalent barrels per day in 2019.

ExxonMobil will retain its non-operated share in upstream assets in the southern North Sea, and its share in the Shell Esso gas and liquids (SEGAL) infrastructure that supplies ethane to the company’s Fife ethylene plant.

Neil Chapman, senior vice president of ExxonMobil, said: “We continue to high-grade our portfolio by divesting assets that are less strategic and focusing our investments on our advantaged projects that are among the best in the industry.

“Our development plans that prioritize Guyana, the U.S. Permian Basin, Brazil and LNG are focused on increasing earnings potential and generating strong cash flow to fund future capital investments, reduce debt and maintain a reliable dividend.”

The transaction is expected to close by the middle of 2021, subject to regulatory and third-party approvals.

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