Exxon Mobil Corporation XOM recently announced a deal with Vår Energi AS to divest its Norwegian non-operated upstream assets. The transaction, likely to close in the December quarter of 2019, is valued at $4.5 billion.
Per the accord, ExxonMobil will be divesting its stakes in more than 20 fields producing oil and natural gas. The company has estimated the fields’ daily combined production capacity at 150,000 barrels of oil equivalent. Notably, the fields are operated primarily by Equinor ASA EQNR.
Once the deal closes, ExxonMobil will be concluding its oil and gas production in Norway where it has presence for more than 100 years. Importantly, the refining and retail operations in Norway will be retained by ExxonMobil.
The deal reflects the integrated energy firm’s broader plan to sell non-strategic properties worth $15 billion by 2021. The divestment decision also underlines ExxonMobil’s strong focus on boosting oil equivalent production volumes from onshore shale resources in the United States, mostly from the prolific Permian Basin. The company is also focusing on developing the discovered oil plays in Guyana.
Investors should know the purchase of oil and gas assets from ExxonMobil has made Vår Energi the third-largest producer of petroleum in Norway. Notably, Eni SpA E has a 70% ownership stake in Vår Energi.
Headquartered in Irving, TX, ExxonMobil currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Meanwhile, a better-ranked stock in the energy space is National Oilwell Varco Inc. NOV. The stock carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
National Oilwell is likely to see earnings growth of 75% in 2019.
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National Oilwell Varco, Inc. (NOV) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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