US oil major Exxon Mobil is planning to cease oil production in Equatorial Guinea after its licence expires in 2026, reported Reuters, citing two sources close to the development.

The move comes as the oil producer looks to reduce crude production in West Africa and shift its focus towards developing lower-carbon natural gas assets in the area, and on additional lucrative projects in the Americas.

One of the sources said Exxon has reduced its production output in Equatorial Guinea to below 15,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) through the existing Serpentina floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel.

In a separate announcement, Exxon Mobil is planning to decommission its Zafiro oil platform in Equatorial Guinea, reported Bloomberg News.

The decision comes approximately two months after the oil platform was closed, owing to safety concerns as water entered a production vessel. 

Exxon spokeswoman Meghan Macdonald in an emailed statement said: “We’re currently evaluating the best option for safe decommissioning, in close collaboration with Equatorial Guinea’s Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons.

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By GlobalData

In Equatorial Guinea, Exxon produced nearly 45,000bopd out of the country’s total production of 93,000bopd, reported Reuters.

Last month, ExxonMobil and its affiliates signed a $310m deal to sell the Billings refinery and associated marketing and logistics assets in the US to Par Pacific Holdings.

The sale also covers a 65% stake in an adjacent cogeneration facility and an expansive PADD IV and V marketing and logistics network.