Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM)
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De May 2019 a May 2020
By Robb M. Stewart
MELBOURNE, Australia--Energy giant Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) is seeking an exit from its producing assets in southeastern Australia as part of a broader review of its global portfolio.
Exxon said Wednesday it is testing market interest in assets including its interest in oil-and-gas fields in the Gippsland Basin in Bass Strait off the state of Victoria, offshore platforms and its Longford and Long Island Point plants. The company is considering selling off a number of assets around the world.
The Bass Strait assets are part of the Exxon-operated Gippsland Basin Joint Venture, owned equally with global miner BHP Group Ltd. (BHP.AU).
No agreements have been reached and no buyer for the Australian assets has been identified, spokesman Travis Parnaby said.
In an emailed statement, the company said it continually reviews its assets for their contribution toward operating needs, financial objectives and their potential value to others. The operations would continue as normal throughout the sale efforts, Exxon said.
A BHP spokesman declined to comment on whether the mining company would consider selling its own stake in the Bass Strait assets or buy Exxon's.
BHP said it had been notified by Exxon of its intention to market its Bass Strait interests.
The Gippsland venture began operations in 1964 and drilled its first well a year later. The discovery of vast crude oil and gas reserves in Bass Strait in the 1960s markedly changed Australia's refining industry, as companies began processing locally produced oil instead of imports.
Late last year, Exxon made the final investment decision to develop the West Barracouta gas field in Bass Strait to bring new supplies to the domestic market by 2021, building on more than 5.5 billion Australian dollars (US$3.8 billion) invested by the venture in recent projects, including in a large offshore project and the Longford gas-conditioning plant.
Not up for sale is Exxon's big Gorgon liquefied natural gas project on Barrow Island in Western Australia, which began producing in March 2016, exporting natural gas to Asia and supplying domestic customers in the state.
Write to Robb M. Stewart at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
September 18, 2019 04:31 ET (08:31 GMT)
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