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Exxon Mobil mulls sale of Malaysian offshore assets for up to $3B

Potential buyers could include other major energy companies with an interest in the region

Exxon Mobil Corporation - Exxon Mobil mulls sale of Malaysian offshore assets for up to $3 billion
Exxon currently produces oil and gas in Malaysia under four production sharing contracts with the state-owned Petroliam Nasional Bhd

Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) is seriously contemplating selling its Malaysian upstream offshore assets for up to $3 billion, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday. 

The US energy giant is said to be working with advisers on the potential sale which could raise about $2 billion to $3 billion, reported the news agency, citing people familiar with the matter.

Exxon has reportedly started sounding out potential buyers, although sale considerations are at a “preliminary stage” and the company could decide against a transaction, according to Bloomberg.

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Potential buyers could include other major energy companies with an interest in the region.

Exxon currently produces oil and gas in Malaysia under four production sharing contracts with the state-owned Petroliam Nasional Bhd.

Exxon also holds a 30% stake in Tapis crude which is produced offshore in the South China Sea, east of peninsular Malaysia. The Tapis Blend is a high quality, extra light, low sulfur crude that was once a benchmark for Asian oil refiners.

The move follows Exxon’s $4.5 billion deal last month to exit Norway and the decision to put Australian assets back on the market, part of its efforts to fund one of the biggest corporate turnarounds in its history after years of stagnating production and a stock price that has lagged rivals.

Wood Mackenzie Ltd analyst Andrew Harwood said in a research note on Monday that in Asia, Exxon is likely to exit projects worth a combined $5 billion in Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Australia and Malaysia.

Malaysia has been an attractive market for large energy deals. In April, Malaysia’s Petronas (KLSE:PCHEM) agreed to buy stakes in two offshore oil fields from Brazil's state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA for $1.29 billion, expanding the southeast Asian state giant’s overseas portfolio.

Contact Uttara Choudhury at [email protected]

Follow her on Twitter: @UttaraProactive

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