Exxon sells its North Texas gas assets to BKV for $750 million

The Exxon Mobil Corporation logo is displayed on a monitor above the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York, December 30, 2015. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

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May 19 (Reuters) – Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) said on Thursday it had signed an agreement to sell North Texas natural gas properties to producer BKV Corp for $750 million, in a move more broad aimed at getting rid of unwanted assets.

Exxon, America’s biggest oil producer, set a goal three years ago to sell $15 billion in assets by last December to pay down debt and focus on producing oil more cheaply. . But it hit about halfway to its target as sales stagnated during the pandemic.

The rebound in oil and gas prices this year has sparked renewed interest in its properties, senior vice president Neil Chapman told analysts in March.

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The North Texas asset sales include additional payments based on future gas prices, allowing the company to take advantage of rising fuel costs. The deal is expected to be completed by June 30.

“We are focused on delivering the most competitive returns to our shareholders by developing opportunities with the lowest cost of supply,” said Liam Mallon, president of Exxon Mobil Upstream Company.

Denver-based BKV is majority-owned by Thai energy company Banpu PCL (BANPU.BK) and is the largest natural gas producer in the Barnett Shale, an area in North Texas where the first shale wells were drilled with hit.

Exxon offers assets in Asia, Africa and Europe with a focus on Guyana, offshore Brazil and in the Permian Basin of West Texas and New Mexico. It markets assets in Iraq, Chad, Nigeria, Canada, Arkansas and Ohio.

The company, which suffered a historic loss of $22.4 billion in 2020, has used soaring oil prices this year to pay down debt and increase payouts to shareholders.

Exxon said it has removed Barnett Shale assets operated by its subsidiaries XTO Energy Inc and Barnett Gathering LLC from its 2020 development plan.

Last year it took in $2.6 billion from asset sales, up from $1 billion in 2020.

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Reporting by Ruhi Soni in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel, Bernard Orr

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