Exxon Mobil Corporation XOM and Shell plc SHEL initiated a sale of their offshore natural gas assets in the southern U.K. and Dutch North Sea, per a Reuters report.
The companies hired an investment bank, Jefferies, to conduct the sale. The divestment could fetch the integrated oil majors more than $2 billion.
Moreover, ExxonMobil and Shell are seeking to divest their stakes in the British southern North Sea gas hub, consisting of the Clipper Leman Alpha hubs and the Bacton terminal in eastern England.
The divestment follows Shell and ExxonMobil's running the sale of their Netherlands-based gas-producing joint venture, NAM, launched earlier this month. The assets on sale involved the Exxon-Shell 50/50 joint venture's offshore gas operations, including several fields and 20 offshore platforms. Beside this, the assets involved three processing facilities and a network of pipelines.
The divestment process is expected to attract bids from multiple energy companies that have shown interest in the initial round. The sale of the Southern North Sea and the offshore NAM assets are separate transactions.
The divestitures are part of the companies' strategy to offload aging oil and gas assets that are no longer significant to their operations. Per ExxonMobil and Shell, the gas supply crisis in Europe and the soaring natural gas prices could make the assets attractive to potential buyers.
In recent years, Shell divested its stake in aging North Sea fields. The divestiture supports the company's drive to create a strong upstream portfolio by focusing on positions with high growth potential and a strong integrated value chain.
Company Profile & Price Performance
Headquartered in Irving, TX, ExxonMobil is one of the leading integrated energy companies in the world.
Shares of ExxonMobil have outperformed the industry in the past six months. The stock has gained 4.1% against the industry's 9.4% decline.
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Zacks Rank & Other Key Picks
ExxonMobil currently carries a Zack Rank #2 (Buy).
Investors interested in the energy sector might look at the following companies that presently flaunt a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here .
Chevron Corporation CVX is one of the largest publicly traded oil and gas companies in the world. Chevron recently raised its quarterly dividend by 6% to $1.42 per share (or $5.68 per share annualized) and promised $5-$15 billion worth of buybacks each year.
Chevron has witnessed upward earnings estimate revisions for 2022 and 2023 in the past 60 days. The company currently has a Zacks Style Score of B for Value and A for Growth. CVX is expected to see earnings growth of 126% in 2022.
Range Resources Corporation RRC is among the top 10 natural gas producers in the United States. RRC's board of directors authorized a $500-million share repurchase program, which is likely to be funded with the company's free cash flow.
Range Resources has witnessed upward earnings estimate revisions for 2022 and 2023 in the past 30 days. The company currently has a Zacks Style Score of A for Growth and Momentum, and B for Value. RRC is expected to see earnings growth of 171.8% in 2022.
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