“The move doesn’t come as a surprise. We recently highlighted Norway amongst a US$48 billion pool of assets from which we think ExxonMobil could meet its recently announced US$15 billion divestment target.”
This was Neivan Boroujerdi, principal analyst, Europe upstream, at Wood Mackenzie speaking after reports that US supermajor ExxonMobil was on its way to put its Norwegian upstream portfolio up for sale.
He was quoted to have added: “The sale has the potential to be the Norway’s biggest since Statoil’s merger with Norsk Hydro announced in 2006.
“While Norway is no longer core to the overall business, ExxonMobil’s position is substantial enough to receive an attractive exit price, particularly as Norway remains one of the premium M&A markets in the world.
“It’s a highly cash generative business with low operating costs, producing 150,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. The portfolio is predominantly operated by Equinor, which has laid out its own plans for increased oil recovery in the coming years – so it will come with future investment opportunities.
“In terms of buyers, the new wave of North Sea independents are likely to be the front runners. Although the oil-heavy portfolio could deter some buyers looking to appease the investor community before an IPO in the coming years.”