EU approves ExxonMobil-Vår Energi $4.5B Norway transaction

ExxonMobil’s sale of assets in Norway to Var Energi has received approval from the European Commission under the EU Merger Regulation.

llustration: Statfjord field platform; Image by Harald Pettersen/Equinor
Illustration: Statfjord field platform; Image by Harald Pettersen/Equinor

ExxonMobil in September agreed to sell its offshore oil field interests in Norway to Vår Energi for $4.5 billion, as part of its plan to sell $15 billion worth of non-core assets by 2021. The buyer, Vår Energi, is a company formed in December 2018 via a merger between Eni’s Eni Norge and Hitec Vision’s Point Resources.

In a statement on Thursday, the European Commission said:” The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns given the companies’ moderate combined market positions resulting from the proposed transaction. The transaction was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.”

Under the agreement, ExxonMobil will sell its interests in more than 20 producing fields to Vår Energi. Most of these fields are operated by Equinor, including Grane, Snorre, Ormen Lange, Statfjord and Fram, with a combined production of approximately 150,000 oil-equivalent barrels per day in 2019.

The majority of the about 50 employees working on the acquired assets are expected to join Vår Energi, which will become the second-largest oil and gas company in Norway after Equinor, following the completion of the acquisition.

In 2017, ExxonMobil sold its operating ownership interests in the fields Balder, Jotun Ringhorne and Ringhorne East to Point Resources.

The ExxonMobil refinery in Slagen and a network of approximately 250 independently owned Esso-branded retail sites are unaffected by the sale agreement with Vår Energi.

Energy intelligence group Wood Mackenzie has said the ExxonMobil-Vår Energi transaction is Norway’s biggest deal since the Statoil-Norsk Hydro merger in 2006.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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