ExxonMobil to keep Bass Strait stake

Article by Adam Duckett

EXXONMOBIL has abandoned plans to sell its 50% stake in Bass Strait gas fields off Victoria, Australia.

The company announced last year that it was looking for a buyer for its half of the partnership that it shares with BHP, but local reports are that the bids fell short.

ExxonMobil confirmed in an emailed statement that after extensive market evaluation it has decided to retain the assets.

The venture, which includes 23 offshore platforms and installations that produce gas piped to Australia, is shared with BHP. The two first discovered gas in the Bass Strait in the 1960s.

Exxon chose to put the assets up for sale in the face of dwindling output from the fields and as part of plans to sell off non-strategic assets.

In response to its partner now keeping the assets, BHP told The Australian that it too continues to assess its own divestment plans for Bass Strait.  

A slump in demand for oil caused by the pandemic has hit producers hard, leading to a rash of spending cuts. ExxonMobil has responded by announcing job cuts at its businesses across the world. In September it offered voluntary redundancy to around 1,500 workers in Australia.

Article by Adam Duckett

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