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Exxon is reviewing its portfolio and might decide to sell some of its assets in the Gulf of Mexico, unnamed sources told Reuters. One of these elaborated: Exxon could sell some deepwater operations in the Gulf that produce 50,000 bpd as well as stakes in other projects that have a combined daily production rate of over 200,000 bpd and 730 million cu ft of natural gas.
In its portfolio review, Exxon is following a trend that’s gained popularity among Big Oil majors after the 2014 price collapse. Oil supermajors are now increasingly focusing on a limited number of projects in higher-return, lower-cost environments. For Exxon, these seem to be Guyana, where the company has made several promising discoveries, as well as Brazil, with its superstar pre-salt zone, and the Permian at home.
The Liza field offshore Guyana alone could pump 120,000 bpd of crude oil during the first phase of its development. In Brazil, Exxon has interests in 26 offshore blocks. Just one of these, the giant Carcara field, operated by Equinor, holds reserves of up to 2 billion barrels of crude. Most recently, Exxon won the rights to explore the Tita field in the Santos Basin, another pre-salt focal point for international oil players interested in Brazil.
“Exxon Mobil continually reviews its assets for their contribution toward meeting the company’s operating needs, financial objectives and their potential value to others,” Reuters quoted a company spokeswoman as saying. The time is ripe for asset sales, indeed: oil prices are rising and there seems to be little anyone could do to arrest this rise for the time being.
Exxon is one of the top ten operators in the Gulf of Mexico. It has stakes in 339 blocks in the deepwater sector of the U.S. alone, and substantial interests in some of the largest projects in the area.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.