Industry sources disclosed to Reuters that the oil giant held talks with potential buyers in a move to focus on nnew developments in U.S. shale and Guyana - a medium light crude.
ExxonMobil affiliates include Exxon, Mobil, Esso and XTO and its output in the West African country reached 225,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2017.
According to the report, ExxonMobil is discussing sale oil mining leases 66, 68, 70 and 104, some of the oil firm's joint ventures with Nigeria's state-owned oil firm, NNPC. Apart from Nigeria, sources also said the company may also sell stakes in Equatorial Guinea and Chad.
The oil firm declined to comment on the divestment plans.
Shell also plans to sell OML 11 and 17, Brazil’s Petrobras sold 50% stake in Agbami field in OML 127
Apart from Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell Plc is also at an advanced stage to sell two of its Nigerian oil assets.
In a report by Bloomberg last year, Shell is also planning to sell oil mining licenses 11 and 17 to Tony Elumelu, the billionaire businessman. According to the report, included in the sale are infrastructure assets such as a natural gas-fired power plant that would be managed by Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc, another company owned by Tony Elumelu.
Shell has sold billions of dollars of Niger Delta assets as conflict, militant attacks and accusation over environmental pollution fuel major concern for the Anglo-Dutch firm in the region.
In a Business Insider SSA by Pulse report last year, Brazil’s Petrobras sold 50% stake in a Nigerian oil and gas exploration venture to a consortium led by top oil trader Vitol for $1.407 billion.
The consortium was led by Vitol and comprising Africa Oil Corp, Delonex Energy Ltd. and Vitol Investment Partnership II Ltd. Africa Oil has 25% in the deal, Delonex Energy Ltd (25%) and Vitol Investment Partnership II Ltd. (50%)
The venture has stakes in two offshore blocks that contain two producing fields, the major Agbami field in OML 127, operated by a local Chevron affiliate and the Akpo field in OML 130 operated by Total SA.
Buhari's government is empowering local oil firm
President Muhammadu Buhari had, on February 5, 2018, signed an Executive Order 5 to improve local content in public procurement with science, engineering and technology components.
The Executive Order, however, notes that where expertise is lacking, procuring entities will give preference to foreign companies and firms with a demonstrable and verifiable plan for indigenous development, prior to the award of such contracts.
Recent reports also state the government asked oil giants to pay nearly $20 billion in taxes and outstanding royalties for oil and gas production. The companies - Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Eni, Total and Equinor will pay between $2.5 billion and $5 billion.