US-based Exxon Mobil is considering the sale of its North Dakota assets in the Bakken shale, Bloomberg News has reported.

The move comes as the firm received acquisition interest from undisclosed parties, people with knowledge of the development told the publication.

A potential sale of the Bakken assets could earn approximately $5bn for the oil giant.

One of the sources said that the company is in the last stage of talks with bankers, which would assist Exxon Mobil in launching the potential sale process.

Although a final decision has not yet been made on pursuing a sale, Exxon could also change the proposed plan, the sources said.

The sale forms part of Exxon’s efforts to cut costs amid higher oil prices while also boosting shareholder returns.

In 2021, the company generated cash proceeds of $3bn by selling assets.

Last week, Exxon Mobil said it plans to further reduce expenses and cut its oil and gas production portfolio to drive profit, following its exit from Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, reported Reuters.

As per the firm’s latest annual report, which was filed in February 2022, ExxonMobil’s assets in Russia were valued at $4.055bn.

By 2023, the firm expects to cut annual costs by $9bn in a bid to quickly reduce debt. It also aims to double earnings by 2027, compared to 2019 levels.