ExxonMobil to Sell UK North Sea Oil, Gas Field Stakes

LONDON, Dec 03, 2006 (Dow Jones Newswires)

U.S. oil major ExxonMobil Corp. (XOM) plans to launch a multi-million pound sale of several stakes in oil and gas fields in the southern North Sea, in line with similar moves from other oil majors, The Sunday Telegraph reports, citing analysts and the chairman of ExxonMobil International.

Robert Olsen, the chairman of ExxonMobil International, confirmed that the company was selling its stakes in the Lancelot, Thames and Hewett area fields, as well as the Hewett Bacton Gas Terminal. The assets account for about 3% of Exxon's total output in the U.K. and Norwegian sectors of the North Sea.

Analysts say potential bidders for the assets could include Tullow Oil PLC (TQW.DB), the independent exploration and production company, which is active in the southern North Sea, as well as European utilities keen to buy equity stakes in gas fields such, as E.ON AG (EON) and RWE AG (RWE), The Sunday Telegraph reports.

The newspaper also said, without citing sources, that the sale could fetch more than GBP200 million.

Other oil majors such as ConocoPhillips (COP) and BP PLC (BP) are also selling assets after reviewing their North Sea asset portfolios in light of declining fossil fuel reserves there.

ConocoPhillips is selling its stakes in the North Sea's Alba, Everest and Armada fields, The Sunday Telegraph reported without citing sources.

In the spring, BP sold its stake in the U.K. side of the Statfjord field as well as its stake in the Luva gas discovery in the Norwegian side of the North Sea.

ConocoPhillips wasn't immediately available to comment.

Copyright (c) 2006 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Newspaper Web site: http://www.telegraph.co.uk

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