Exxon Mobil in talks to sell Nigerian oil and gas fields for up to $3 billion

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Exxon Mobil, an American multinational oil and gas corporation headquartered in Texas, United States, recently held talks on the sale of a suite of oil and gas fields in Nigeria as the company focuses on new developments in U.S. shale and Guyana.

Two sources told Reuters that the potential disposals are expected to include stakes in onshore and offshore fields and could raise up to $3 billion.

The Texas-based company is one of the largest oil and gas producers in Nigeria, with 106 operated platforms. Its oil output in the West African country reached 225,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2017.

Exxon officials have held talks in recent weeks with several Nigerian companies to gauge their interest in the fields. One of the sources revealed that Exxon was soon due to open a “data room”, which would provide technical information on the fields, such as seismic and production details in Nigeria.

Another anonymous source told Reuters that the discussions focused on a number of onshore fields Exxon shares in joint ventures with Nigerian state oil firm NNPC, including oil mining leases 66, 68, 70 and 104.

Exxon’s share of oil production in those fields reached 120,000 bpd in 2017, the last year for which data was available. The oil company is also weighing the possible sale of stakes in offshore fields in Nigeria. Two sources also reveal that Exxon is looking into offering for sale its assets in Equatorial Guinea and Chad.

The Nigerian government has in the last decade supported a drive by domestic firms such as Oando, Seplat and privately held Aiteo to expand their operations in the country as international companies including Royal Dutch Shell sought to lower their presence due to oil spills resulting from pipeline sabotage.

Exxon announced earlier this year plans to boost its capital spending from $26 billion in 2018 to $30 billion in 2019 and up to $35 billion next year as it seeks to develop oilfields in Guyana and the U.S. Permian basin as well as gas projects in Mozambique and the United States Gulf Coast.


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