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Exxon Mobil has agreed to sell its Norwegian oil and gas assets for up to $4 billion, in a move that marks the U.S. firm's exit from production in the country where it has operated for more than a century, three sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday.
Exxon said in June it was looking to sell its Norwegian upstream portfolio, which includes minority stakes in more than 20 other fields, operated by local producer Equinor and Anglo-Dutch oil major Royal Dutch Shell.
"As a matter of practice, we don't comment on commercial discussions," an Exxon spokesperson said.
Shares in Exxon, the world's biggest publicly traded oil company, rose 1.7% to a session high in New York after Reuters reported a sale had been agreed.
The Irving, Texas-based company has held talks in recent weeks with a number of interested parties including Oslo-listed companies Equinor, Aker BP, and DNO, Stockholm-listed Lundin Petroleum as well as Var Energi, baked by Italy's Eni, and private equity firm Hitech Vision, industry sources said.
Equinor, Lundin, DNO and Var were not immediately available to comment.
The three sources said that Exxon had closed the sale process in recent days with one buyer after agreeing on the terms of a sale.
Exxon hired investment bank Jefferies to run the sale process, banking sources told Reuters last month.
Jefferies declined to comment.
In 2017, Exxon's net production from fields off Norway was around 170,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, according to its website.
The sale, if approved by regulators and completed, comes after Exxon focused in recent years on growing its onshore U.S. shale production, particularly in the Permian basin, as well as developing huge oil discoveries in Guyana.
Exxon is also considering selling its assets in the British North Sea after more than 50 years, industry sources told Reuters last month.