ExxonMobil is withdrawing from the joint operating agreement (JOA) with Patriot Energy Oil and Gas, a subsidiary of Sintana Energy.

In a statement, Sintana said that the oil giant has sent a notice to Patriot that it is withdrawing from the JOA, effective 31 May 2023.

ExxonMobil is also withdrawing from the contract with the Agencia Nacional de Hidrocarbons, following the receipt of government approval.

The contract and the JOA are related to 43,158 acres of land, called the VMM-37 block, in the Middle Magdalena Valley Basin in Colombia.

Sintana Energy CEO Doug Manner said: “We are disappointed that our VMM-37 partner for more than a decade, ExxonMobil, has voluntarily chosen to withdraw from both the JOA and contract. Management has engaged legal and technical advisors for assistance in addressing this unexpected change of events.”

The announcement comes after The Wall Street Journal’s report that ExxonMobil called off a project off-coast Brazil after failing to find oil.

ExxonMobil and its partners started purchasing the offshore acreage for $4bn in 2017, but they were unable to find any economically viable reserves of oil.

Citing ExxonMobil’s representative, the report said that the company is still active in Brazil and is currently pursuing exploration activities there.

Last week, ExxonMobil Guyana announced the arrival of the Prosperity floating, production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) vessel in Guyana waters.

The Payara field, which is situated in the Stabroek block, offshore Guyana, at a water depth of around 2,000 metres, will be developed using the Prosperity FPSO.