US-based oil major ExxonMobil has announced it has agreed to sell the majority of its non-operated upstream North Sea assets to NEO Energy, which is wholly owned by HitecVision, for $1 billion USD.
Subject to regulatory approval, the deal is expected to complete by the middle of this year. It will see the transfer of ExxonMobil’s interest in 14 fields operated by Shell and Total, as well as the related infrastructure. In 2019, these assets produced approximately 38,000 oil-equivalent barrels per day.
A Senior Vice President at ExxonMobil, Neil Chapman, explained in a statement that the sale was part of a process divesting less-strategic assets in order to continue:
“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.”
ExxonMobil has a long history in the UK North Sea, having pooled its resources with Shell in the early days to develop oil fields there. The company says it is keeping its interest in the Shell Esso Gas and Liquids (SEGAL) infrastructure and its upstream assets in the southern portion of the North Sea. It will also remain involved in chemical and refining operations, including the manufacture and marketing of Mobil lubricants, like transmission oil and gear oil, as well as the sale of natural gas.