Exxon & BHP plan to sell joint Australia O&G assets

Exxon & BHP plan to sell joint Australia O&G assets

Exxon Mobil Corp (NYSE:XOM) and BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP) are looking at plans to sell exhausting energy assets in Australia, including the largest oil field ever found in the country.

The companies are looking at marketing around 13 fields, licences and associated infrastructure held in the Gippsland Basin joint venture, Exxon’s Esso Australia unit.

“We are seeking to identify third parties with proven experience and strength to operate and capture the remaining potential in these licenses,” Esso Australia said in a statement.

BHP and Esso Australia each hold a 50% share of the joint venture.

BHP’s Bass Strait unit in Melbourne, which includes the firm’s stake in the Gippsland Basin operation and second joint venture, could be worth around US$1 billion, according to Citigroup Inc.

The fields up for sale include Perch, Dolphin, Seahorse, Tarwhine, Kingfish A, Kingfish B, West Kingfish, Fortescue, Halibut, Cobia, Mackerel, Blackback and Flounder.

Kingfish was discovered in 1967 and according to Exxon, was the first offshore oil field discovered in Australia and remains the largest.

According to BHP, oil and gas production began from the venture in Victoria in 1969.