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ExxonMobil seeks to sell Australian Bass Strait oil, gas assets

September 25/2019

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Oil major ExxonMobil Corp said on Wednesday it was looking to sell its 50% stake in the Gippsland Basin oil and gas development in Australia's Bass Strait as part of a broader review of its portfolio of assets around the world, reported Reuters.

The Gippsland Basin joint venture, off the state of Victoria, has long been the mainstay oil and gas supplier into southeastern Australia, but output from the fields is in decline.

Operator Exxon's 50-50 joint venture partner in the assets is global miner BHP Group. BHP declined to comment on whether it might sell its own stake or whether it would be interested in buying Exxon's assets.

"ExxonMobil will be testing market interest for a number of assets worldwide, including its operated producing assets in Australia, as part of an ongoing evaluation of its assets," the company said in an emailed statement.

"No agreements have been reached and no buyer has been identified," the company said in the statement. It said operations would continue as normal throughout the effort to sell the assets, without disclosing any targeted value for a deal.

The statement was released after the Gippsland Times newspaper reported the company's workers in Gippsland had been told by ExxonMobil Australia chairman, Nathan Fay, that the assets were on the market.

BHP said in an emailed comment that it had been notified by Exxon of the latter's plan to put its interests in the Gippsland Basin joint venture (GBJV) up for sale.

"BHP recognises the importance of GBJV to the reliable supply of gas in to the east coast domestic market and we remain committed to maintaining that supply," a BHP spokesman said in an emailed comment.

Exxon's other producing asset in Australia is a 25% stake in the giant Gorgon liquefied natural gas project in Western Australia, which is not part of the sale process.

As MRC informed before, ExxonMobil Corp shut the chemical plant at its Beaumont, Texas, refining and petrochemical complex on Thursday morning, 19 September, because of flooding from Tropical Storm Imelda.

The company operates a cracker with a capacity of 830,000 mt of ethylene and 195,000 mt of proplyelen per year, low density polyethylene (LDPE) plant with a capacity of 236,000 mt per year and linear low density polyethylene plant with a capacity of 727,000 tonnes per year.

Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polyprolypele (PP).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption was 1,081,100 tonnes in the first half of 2019, up by 8% year on year. Deliveries of all PE grades increased. Meanwhile, the estimated consumption of PP in the Russian market totalled 694,210 tonnes in January-June 2019, up by 14% year on year. The supply of propylene block copolymers (PP-block) and propylene homopolymers (PP-homo) increased.

ExxonMobil is the largest non-government owned company in the energy industry and produces about 3% of the world's oil and about 2% of the world's energy.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:PP, PE, LLDPE, crude and gaz condensate, PP block copolymer, homopolymer PP, propylene, LDPE, ethylene, petrochemistry, Exxon Mobil, Australia, Russia, USA.
Category:General News
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