Exxon Mobil (XOM.N) has relaunched the sale of its stake in Azerbaijan’s largest oilfield, the company said on Tuesday, as banking and industry sources said the move was drawing interest from large Asian oil and gas companies seeking to capitalize on the recent collapse in oil prices, ONA reports citing Reuters.
The top U.S. oil and gas company first tried to sell its 6.8% stake in the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) field in the Caspian Sea in 2018, as rival Chevron (CVX.N) launched the sale of its own 9.57% stake in the field.
While Exxon’s sale process was never officially suspended, it was put on the backburner when Chevron started negotiations with Hungarian energy firm MOL MOLB.BU for the sale of its assets last year, which led to a $1.57 billion deal in November.
Exxon’s process, run by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, was recently relaunched despite oil prices halving to around $30 a barrel after a historic collapse in oil consumption due to coronavirus-linked lockdowns that restricted people’s movement.
“Exxon Mobil is testing market interest for its non-operated producing assets in Azerbaijan,” Exxon spokeswoman Julie King told Reuters.
Exxon routinely evaluates its producing portfolio and “if other companies find more value in an asset, we will sell,” she added.
A number of Asian national oil companies, including China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC), India’s ONGC and Indonesia’s Pertamina, have shown interest in the stake recently, hoping to clinch a deal at a lower price than before, according to four industry and banking sources.