Reuters reports three sources in the oil industry and the banking sector as saying that Exxon Mobil and Shell have launched a coordinated process to sell off a substantial package of their North Sea assets in both UK and Dutch waters.
Shell and Exxon Mobil, who both produce advanced lubricants like synthetic gear oil, are reportedly looking to divest older assets in order to cut costs and raise funds to develop new large-scale projects around the world. This sale—which, according to Reuter’s sources, is being run by investment bank Jeffries—could raise around two billion US dollars. The news follows the launch in July for the sale of NAM, which the companies own jointly. NAM is one of the largest and oldest producers of natural gas in Europe, having been the operator of the Groningen gas field, the largest field in Europe, since the 1960s.
Interests in the British southern North Sea gas hub are being made available for sale, such as the Bacton Gas Terminal on the Norfolk coast and the Clipper and Leman Alpha hubs. At the same time, NAM is independently seeking to divest its offshore assets in Dutch waters. As the two asset packages are being treated separately, two different buyers may end up acquiring each. By selling them simultaneously, however, the sources say the companies hope to attract bids from a number of companies that have already shown interest.
Reuters reports that Exxon Mobil, Jeffries and Shell declined to comment on the reported sales.