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Global oil and gas company ExxonMobil is rumoured to be in advanced talks with Spanish company Repsol SA over the sale of its deep water assets in the Gulf of Mexico for $1bn.

According to a report by Reuters, Exxon has begun the process of selling off nine assets in the Gulf. These include its 50% stake in the Julia oil field, which has been producing 34,000 barrels of oil a day since its opening in April 2016 and its 23% interest in the Lucius Deepwater Oil and Gas Project, which has been in production since January 2015. However it is not certain how many of the nine assets would be sold to Repsol.

The rumoured sale is part of Exxon’s plans to make $15bn in asset sales by 2021, as the company shifts its focus on new offshore areas in Guyana and Brazil and onshore in the Permian basin of Texas and New Mexico.

Exxon has found it difficult to secure buyers for its assets, which Reuters states is because oil developers are focusing on existing portfolios rather than buying up others.

There has been a number of rumours about Exxon selling assets without official confirmation. In August 2019 the company was alleged to be in talks to sell its UK North Sea assets for around $2bn (£1.6bn), whilst on 6 September Exxon was reported to be in talks with Norwegian oil and gas company Var Energi for an estimated $4bn.

As a result of the news Exxon’s share price rose by $0.56c from $70.93 to $71.49 a share, giving it a market capitalisation value of $302.5bn. Repsol’s share price also climbed slightly by 0.76% from €13.88 to €13.98 a share. Both companies share prices are rising after a slump in August, when Repsol’s share price reached a year low of €12.48 a share on 16 August.

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ExxonMobil share price 2019

Repsol SA

Repsol SA is an integrated oil and gas company based in Madrid, Spain. According to data analytics company GlobalData, the company had a net income of just over €1.1bn in the first half of 2019, compared to over €1.5bn in the first half of 2018.

Alongside oil and gas, Repsol has also branched out into the renewable energy sector     . It announced that it will develop two wind projects and a solar project in Spain with a combined capacity of 800MW in July 2019, and has a target of developing 4,500MW of renewable energy projects by 2025.