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Exxon Quits Colombia Oilfield

ExxonMobil has decided to withdraw as of May 31 from a joint venture operating agreement for an oil and gas field in Colombia, the partner in the venture said on Tuesday, not even a month after pulling out of a sizeable project in Brazil.

Sintana Energy said in a regulatory filing that ExxonMobil had sent its subsidiary Patriot Energy Oil and Gas a notice stating that, based on the terms of the Joint Operating Agreement between ExxonMobil and Patriot, the U.S. supermajor had decided to withdraw from the agreement as of May 31, 2023.     

The notice also says that Exxon will withdraw from the Contract with the Colombian regulatory agency Agencia Nacional de Hidrocarbones, effective after obtaining required Government approvals. Both the JOA and Contract pertain to 43,158 acres of property known as the VMM-37 block in Colombia's Middle Magdalena Valley Basin.

Sintana Energy CEO Doug Manner said, "We are disappointed that our VMM-37 partner for more than a decade, ExxonMobil, has voluntarily chosen to withdraw from both the JOA and Contract. Management has engaged legal and technical advisors for assistance in addressing this unexpected change of events".

The withdrawal from a block in Colombia followed reports from earlier this month that ExxonMobil had ended a major drilling campaign offshore Brazil after years of failing to make a major oil discovery there.

ExxonMobil is also facing fresh scrutiny from investors over its climate ambitions at its upcoming annual general meeting (AGM) next month.

Legal and General Investment Management (LGIM) and Christian Brothers Investment Services (CBIS) have co-filed a shareholder resolution, calling on the energy giant to provide more disclosures on potentially stranded assets post-energy transition.   

The two investment groups are requesting that Exxon's board reveal whether their asset retirement obligations (ARO) are in line with the International Energy Agency's (IEA) net zero emissions targets.

By Tom Kool for Oilprice.com

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