Exxon looks to sell Azeri stake

Exxon looks to sell Azeri stake

Exxon Mobile is looking to sell its stake in Azerbaijan’s biggest oil field as the US oil and gas giant re-focuses its global operations, according to industry and banking sources.

Industry and banking sources told Reuters, the Texas based firm is hoping to raise $6 billion from its 6.8 percent stake in the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) field in the Caspian Sea.

The speculated sale would end Exxon’s 25-year involvement in the Azerbaijan oil industry, which began when it became one of five US firms to help establish the sector following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The deal between Azerbaijan and its partners was dubbed “the contract of the century” because of the oilfield’s large reserves and hopes of future discoveries.

The project gained widespread support from the West as it was hoped it would help reduce Europe’s reliance on Russia for energy supplies.

However, most of US stakeholders have either sold out or have been acquired by rivals, leaving just Exxon and Chevron as the two remaining Americans invested in ACG.

The ACG fields contribute three quarters of the total 600,000 barrel per day Azeri output, as of the first half of 2018.

In recent year, Exxon has increasingly turned its attention to developing shale fields off the US coast, along with a number of large oil discoveries in Guyana.

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