Exxon said to mull sale of more than $1 billion in Norway assets

By Dinesh Nair, Mikael Holter on 9/23/2016

IRVING, Texas (Bloomberg) -- Exxon Mobil Corp. is considering a sale of some of the oil fields it operates in Norway’s North Sea in a deal that could fetch more than $1 billion, two people familiar with the matter said.

Exxon, the world’s biggest listed oil company, isn’t running a formal process, though it has had discussions with potential buyers, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private. The company operates Ringhorne, Balder, Sigyn and Jotun fields in Norway, which produced the equivalent of 64,000 bopd in 2015, according to its website.

“We don’t comment on rumors or speculation about commercial matters like this,” Exxon spokesman Tore Revaa said by phone. “Exxon Mobil is a long-term investor in Norway, and we plan to continue as a significant investor.”

The plans were previously reported by Offshore.no. The industry news website said Exxon was planning to sell Ringhorne, Balder and Sigyn, while Jotun is closing down soon.

Exxon’s efforts to sell assets are another sign that Norway, whose oil production has dropped by half since a 2000 peak, is falling on the priority list of increasingly selective big oil companies. The industry is cutting costs and investments to weather a slump in crude prices that’s battered the business for the past two years.

Total is considering selling down a 51% stake in its Martin Linge project off Norway, people familiar with the matter said earlier this month. BP announced plans to merge its Norwegian unit into Det Norske Oljeselskap this year, maintaining a 30% stake in the new company.

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