August 11, 2021 Read More →

ExxonMobil begins selling off U.S. shale gas properties to raise money

Reuters:

Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) has begun marketing U.S. shale gas properties as it ramps up a long-stalled program that aims to raise billions of dollars to shed unwanted assets and reduce debt taken on last year.

Three years ago, the top U.S. oil producer set a goal of raising $15 billion from sales by December 2021. More recently, it promised to accelerate lagging sales to whittle a record $70 billion debt pile.

The company’s XTO Energy shale unit is seeking buyers for almost 5,000 natural gas wells in the Fayetteville Shale in Arkansas, spokeswoman Julie King confirmed.

The assets are among gas projects with declining production and market value Exxon is selling as it focuses on newer ventures in Guyana, offshore Brazil and Texas’s Permian Basin.

Exxon, which suffered a historic $22.4 billion loss in 2020, is selling dozens of properties in Asia, Africa, the United States and Europe.

The company is prioritizing debt reduction and its shareholder dividend, officials said last month. After total debt last year doubled to almost $70 billion since 2018, Exxon paid off more than $7 billion this year, to reduce its burden to $60.6 billion.

[Sabrina Valle, Liz Hampton and Shariq Khan]

More: Exxon launches U.S. shale gas sale to kick-start stalled divestitures

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