American oil major ExxonMobil has reportedly abandoned plans of the multibillion-dollar sale of its oil and gas assets in Australia’s Bass Strait.

The latest move comes just six weeks after the ‘deadline for indicative bids’ for the Bass Strait oil and gas set by sales adviser JPMorgan, reported the Australian Financial Review (AFR).

The BassGas project includes the development of the Yolla field located in production licence T/RL1 of the Bass Strait, offshore of Australia. The field lies in a water depth of 80m, about 147km offshore of southern Victoria.

AFR quoted ExxonMobil local affiliate Esso Australia spokesman as stating: “After completing an extensive market evaluation, ExxonMobil has decided to retain its operated Gippsland Basin producing assets in Australia.

“We believe Gippsland Basin and the Kipper unit are more valuable as part of our portfolio and we will continue to operate rather than divest.”

According to AFR, the sale process did not yield attractive offers from potential buyers.

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By GlobalData

In December 2018, ExxonMobil and its joint venture partner BHP decided to proceed with the development of the West Barracouta gas field in Bass Strait, offshore Victoria. Esso Australia is the operator of the Gippsland Basin JV, in which it owns a 50% interest. BHP Billiton Petroleum (Bass Strait) holds the remaining 50% interest in the JV.

In August, BHP reportedly planned to sell Bass Strait oil and gas stake to focus on higher value petroleum assets.