Leaving? Exxon Mobil to ‘sell stakes’ in Nigeria upstream operations for $3bn

US oil giant Exxon Mobil  is planning to sell its onshore and offshore assets in Nigeria three years after itsexit from the downstream sector.

Reuters reports that the sales could yield up to $3 billion (N1.07 trillion) if finalised.

“Exxon is actively divesting in Nigeria,” a source is quoted to have said.

Some of the assets listed in the planned sale include oil mining leases (OML) 66, 68, 70 and 104, where the company runs  joint venture (JV) operations with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) through its subsidiaries, Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (MPN) and Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria Ltd. (EEPNL).

The company is said to have met with some indigenous oil firms to gauge their interest in the fields and is planning to provide technical information such as seismic and production details to hasten the sale.

When contacted, a spokesman for MPN said: ExxonMobil is committed to its long-term business operations in Nigeria. As a matter of practice, we don’t comment on business discussions.”

One of the largest oil and gas producers in Nigeria, Mobil’s runs a major JV partnership with the NNPC to produce the Qua Iboe crude grade from fields about 20 to 40 miles offshore Nigeria’s south eastern region, east of the Oso field.

Average production at the Qua Iboe terminal is 550,000 b/d of oil including crude, condensates and natural gas liquids (NGLs).

Exxon Mobil targets $15bn from asset sales, eyes new markets

In a statement following the company’s annual investor day at the New York Stock Exchange in March, Darren Woods, chairman and chief executive officer at Exxon Mobil, said plans are on track to significantly increase cash flow from operations and asset sales.

Woods said the company would accelerate its divestments to around $15 billion by 2021.

Apart from Nigeria, the company is also looking to sell its assets in  Equatorial Guinea and Chad, in addition to the sale of its stake in Azerbaijan’s largest oil field.

As it scales its global operations, Exxon Mobil seeks new deepwater developments in South America, specifically in Guyana and Brazil.

For its onshore projects, the US Permian basin (Texas and New Mexico) are a key target even as it has earmarked new gas projects in Mozambique, Papua New Guinea and the US Gulf Coast.