Exxon Mobil weighs sale of Malaysian offshore assets

KUALA LUMPUR: Exxon Mobil Corp is considering a sale of its Malaysian upstream offshore assets as the US energy giant continues with its divestiture programme, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The company is working with an adviser on the potential sale of the Malaysian assets, which could raise about US$2 billion to US$3 billion, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private.

Exxon has started sounding out potential buyers, although sale considerations are at a preliminary stage and the company could still decide against a transaction, the people said. Potential bidders for the assets could include other major energy companies with an interest in the region, the people said.

Exxon Mobil didn’t immediately respond to requests outside of regular business hours in Texas where it’s headquartered, while its representatives in Singapore and Australia weren’t able to provide comment.

A sale would follow Exxon’s sale of its US$4.5 billion Norwegian assets last month, which is part of the company’s divestment plan designed to help fund one of the biggest corporate turnarounds in its history after years of stagnating production and a stock-price that has underperformed rivals.

For Asia, Exxon is likely to exit projects worth a combined US$5 billion in Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Australia and Malaysia as part of its asset sales programme, Wood Mackenzie analysts including Andrew Harwood said in a press release Monday.

Exxon produces oil and gas in Malaysia under four production sharing contracts (PSCs) with the state-owned Petroliam Nasional Bhd, according to its website.

The PSCs cover 2.4 million acres offshore and have exploration and production terms ranging up to 38 years, Exxon said its most-recent 10-K filing.