ExxonMobil has again put its stake in Azerbaijan’s largest oil field up for sale despite a historic decline in oil prices linked to a decline in consumption due to coronavirus restrictions.
A spokeswoman for the U.S. energy giant said ExxonMobil “is testing market interest” for its assets in Azerbaijan. The company routinely evaluates its production portfolio and “if other companies find more value in an asset, we will sell,” spokeswoman Julie King told Reuters in a story published May 19.
ExxonMobil first tried to sell its 6.8 percent stake in the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) field in the Caspian Sea in 2018. But a competing sale by rival Chevron for its larger stake in the field was taking place at the same time.
Chevron was successful in selling its 9.8 percent stake to Hungarian energy firm MOL Group for $1.57 billion last year.
It is unclear how much ExxonMobil is seeking to raise from the sale, but it is likely to be valued significantly lower than Chevron’s stake, the sources said.
A number of Asian national oil companies, including China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC), India’s ONGC, and Indonesia’s Pertamina, have shown interest in the stake, according to Reuters quoting four unidentified industry and banking sources.
A spokesman for SOCAR, Azerbaijan’s national oil company, declined to comment, Reuters reported.
The sharp drop in oil prices pushed ExxonMobil to report its first quarterly loss in decades in the first three months of the year.
The attempt to sell its stake in the Azerbaijani oil field comes after the Texas-based company last year launched a plan to divest up to $25 billion of oil and gas fields in Europe, Asia, and Africa.