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Exxon has put up for sale natural gas assets in the Barnett Shale in Texas, Reuters has reported, citing a confirmation of the news by the company.
The assets include 2,700 wells spread across 182,000 acres, according to the report. So far, no buyer has been identified, and no agreements have been reached on the sale, a spokeswoman for the company said.
Reuters cited an unnamed source as estimating the value of the assets at $400 and $500 million. Exxon, according to the report, will accept bids by December 21 and hopes to complete the sale process in January.
The sale is part of a divestment strategy undertaken by the supermajor after it was hit with a loss of $22.4 billion last year. The strategy aims to slim the company down to its most lucrative operations.
At the same time, however, the Wall Street Journal reported last month that Exxon was considering exiting several large oil and gas projects due to the growing ESG pressure from investors.
According to that report, the board of directors of the company was concerned about the $30-billion LNG project Exxon is leading in Mozambique and another gas project in Vietnam, among others.
Right now, the time is good for selling gas assets, given the direction prices are taking. This week, bullish attitudes to natural gas were reinforced by weather forecasts for a colder than usual start of the winter in the United States, which combined with record-high exports to produce higher gas futures prices and spur predictions that gas could hit $6 per million British thermal units.
In shale oil, however, Exxon is expanding production. The company reported average daily output of some 500,000 bpd from its Permian assets during the third quarter, which was almost a third higher than the same period last year.
CEO Darren Woods said that Exxon might “see a couple of more rigs come on here as we go forward.”
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.