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Exxon shortlists bidders for multi-billion dollar assets sale in Malaysia

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(Bloomberg) –Exxon Mobil has narrowed the list of bidders for its oil-producing offshore assets in Malaysia that could potentially raise $2 billion to $3 billion in a sale, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

U.K.-listed EnQuest Plc and Kuala Lumpur-traded Hibiscus Petroleum Bhd. are among those that have been chosen to submit binding bids for the assets, the people said. Other companies have also expressed interest, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the discussions are private.

Exxon Mobil started the process to sell its Malaysian assets last year as part of its global divestiture program, Bloomberg News has reported. It produces oil and gas in the Southeast Asian nation under four production sharing contracts with the state-owned Petroliam Nasional Bhd., according to its website.

The U.S. oil major’s assets in Malaysia include a 30% stake in the offshore Tapis Blend operations, which produce a low-sulfur crude that was once a benchmark for Asian oil refiners. The production sharing contracts cover 2.4 million acres offshore and have exploration and production terms ranging up to 38 years, Exxon said in a filing in 2019.

Deliberations are ongoing and the bidders might not proceed with an offer, the people said. Representatives for EnQuest, Exxon and Hibiscus declined to comment.

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