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ExxonMobil to Speed Up Exit From Offshore Oil Plays in Norway

Zacks Equity Research

Exxon Mobil Corporation XOM is willing to divest interests in offshore Norwegian oil and natural gas fields and hence has hired investment bank Jefferies, per Reuters. The sale could generate a huge sum of roughly $4 billion for the largest publicly traded energy firm, the source added.

The company, which has been exploiting resources in the Northern European country over the past 125 years, is now planning to make an exit. In fact, the integrated energy firm earlier announced that it was intending to screen potential interests of buyers for its portfolio of hydrocarbon resources in Norway. Per the source, the portfolio also comprises minority ownerships of ExxonMobil in several other plays, being explored by energy majors like Royal Dutch Shell plc RDS.A and Equinor ASA EQNR.

Investors should know that from the producing offshore fields in Norway, the company’s net reserves were recorded at 422 million barrels of oil equivalent as of 2018-end, per the source.

The list of probable buyers includes some private equity-backed entities and explorers like Aker BP since they were considering investing more for resources in the Norwegian continental shelf. According to the source, the list may include Var Energi, being owned jointly by private equity firm – Hitecvision – and integrated energy firm Eni SpA E. In 2017, Var Energi had bought resources in Norway from ExxonMobil.

Another major energy company that considered exiting the offshore Norwegian resources and in fact has divested its last stake in 2018 is Chevron Corporation CVX.

Headquartered in Irving, TX, ExxonMobil, with its diversified energy businesses, including upstream, downstream and chemical operations, are relatively less exposed to volatility in commodity prices. This makes the company a relatively low-risk stock.

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