Exxon Mobil has launched a sale of its oil and gas properties in the first major U.S. shale field, as part of a portfolio reshuffling to focus on more lucrative assets, Reuters reported.
The top U.S. oil producer set a goal three years ago of raising $15 billion from asset sales. Exxon Mobil has put several U.S. and international assets on the market as energy prices have recovered from the pandemic-induced slump.
Exxon Mobil will open a data room on Thursday for its Barnett Shale holdings that include 2,700 wells across about 182,000 acres in North Texas, home of the first horizontally drilled shale wells. Production operations will continue normally during the marketing process. There has been no agreement reached on a sale and no buyer was identified.
The producing properties are valued at between $400 million and $500 million. U.S. gas prices are up 75 percent year to date, settling at $5.01 per million British thermal units on Monday.
Bids are due Dec. 21 and Exxon aims to close any sale in January. The properties’ shale gas production has declined by half since 2016, to around 227 million cubic feet per day (mcfd) in the first half of this year.
The wells were among natural gas properties Exxon last year said it wanted to sell. It put about 5,000 natural gas wells in the Fayetteville Shale in Arkansas on the block in August.
Exxon, which suffered $22.4 billion loss in 2020, is selling assets in Asia, Africa and Europe as it as focuses on production ventures in Guyana, offshore Brazil and the Permian Basin.