Exxon Mobil to hive off XTO's North Sea oil and gas assets

Exxon Mobil is planning to sell stakes held by its XTO Energy unit in four North Sea oil and gas fields as part of the world's largest oil company's plan to hive off non core assets.

Irving, Texas-based ExxonMobil is offering its 15-per cent stake in the UK North Sea three blocks of the Platypus natural-gas discovery, operated by Dana Petroleum, as well as a 33-per cent stake in a Witch Ground Graben block, according to a posting on oil services company Schlumberger operated website IndigoPool.

The company said that it is seeking offers for its entire interest in the blocks and is willing to consider exchange for other assets, or cash, or a combination of both.
ExxonMobil plans to open a data room for the blocks on 24 January.

Dana Petroleum, which was acquired in September 2010 by South Korea's largest oil company KNOC, had said last year that the Platypus discovery holds an estimated 130 billion cubic feet of natural gas.

Discussions are in progress to drill an appraisal well to further explore the potential of Platypus, said the posting.

ExxonMobil, the world's largest publicly-traded company, had in 2009 acquired XTO, the largest independent gas producer from shale fields in the US, in an all-stock transaction valued at $41 billion, including $10 billion XTO debt. (See: ExxonMobil to acquire XTO Energy for $41 billion)