Oil and gas companies have accumulated assets for sale with recoverable reserves of more than 5 billion barrels of liquids and 7.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe) of natural gas, energy research company Rystad Energy has estimated.

According to the firm’s analysis, oil operators are either getting rid of their mature portfolios to focus on key projects or are looking to avoid additional greenfield costs amid the current low crude price.

Rystad Energy senior upstream analyst Siva Prasad said: “Many players are trying to divest their low-priority assets, while others are considering this the right time to break into the industry or expand their portfolios by acquiring these assets at a lower price.”

Some of the planned divestments were announced before the Covid-19-related oil price crash, but more were added in the aftermath of pandemic, Rystad has clarified.

Oil majors are seen to contribute nearly 70% of the liquid volumes and 50% of the gas reserves lined up for divestment globally, with ExxonMobil and Chevron being the most active when it comes to divestments.

ExxonMobil is looking for interested buyers for upstream assets in the US Gulf of Mexico, the UK North Sea, Germany, Nigeria, Malaysia, Indonesia, Romania, Azerbaijan, Vietnam, Chad, and Equatorial Guinea as part of its wider plan to generate $15bn by 2021 and $25bn by 2025 from divestments.