(Adds quotes, price, detail)
OSLO, March 29 Exxon Mobil has agreed to
sell its operated upstream business in Norway to private equity
firm HitecVision and oil company Point Resources for an
undisclosed sum, it said on Wednesday.
The deal means that the world's largest listed oil firm will
no longer operate producing fields on the Norwegian continental
shelf, making it the second oil major to scale back its presence
in less than a year after BP in 2016.
Exxon Mobil retains stakes in more than 20 producing fields
operated by Statoil and Shell however,
including the Snorre oilfield and the major Ormen Lange gas
The sale of stakes in the Jotun, Balder and Ringhorne
fields, along with some related production assets and
properties, had long been rumoured in local media.
"It's a natural part of business to assess whether such
assets could be worth more to others than they are to us. We'll
remain a significant investor in Norway however," Exxon
spokesman Tore Revaa said.
The fields sold had daily output of 54,000 barrels of oil
equivalents in 2016, while Exxon's remaining Norwegian stakes
yielded about 170,000 barrels per day.
Norwegian financial daily Dagens Naeringsliv, citing unnamed
sources, said the deal was valued at close to 8 billion
Norwegian crowns ($935 million). The companies declined to
comment when contacted by Reuters.
Point Resources, which is majority owned by HitecVision,
will have output of about 60,000 barrels of oil equivalent
following the deal, which could grow to about 80,000 barrels in
2022, it said in a separate statement.
"Given the number of development plans and other
opportunities, no redundancies are expected within the combined
company as a result of the transaction," it added.
Following the deal, Point's reserves and contingent
resources will amount to about 350 million barrels of oil
The switch of ownership, which the companies hope to
complete in the fourth quarter of 2017, must be approved by the
Energy Minister Terje Soeviknes said in a statement the deal
could bring more diversity and competition to the oil industry.
"The transaction ... is exciting because it makes Point a
significant player while Exxon Mobil remains a large producer,"
BP last year sold all its Norwegian assets to oil firm Det
Norske in exchange for cash and a 30 percent stake in the new
company, named Aker BP.
($1 = 8.5389 Norwegian crowns)
(Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis and Terje Solsvik, editing by
Louise Heavens/Ruth Pitchford)