ExxonMobil to sell UK central and northern North Sea assets

Source: press release, 24 February 2021

Shearwater platform off the coast of Aberdeen, Scotland
Shearwater platform off the coast of Aberdeen, Scotland (photo: Shell)

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

“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,” says Neil Chapman, senior vice president of ExxonMobil. “Our development plans that prioritise Guyana, the US 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 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.

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

ExxonMobil has operated in the UK for more than 135 years and continues natural gas sales, refining and chemical operations, the marketing of lubricants and petrochemicals, and the marketing of fuels through a network of more than 1,300 independently owned Esso-branded retail sites.