Four firms have been shortlisted to acquire stake in Adriatic LNG regasification terminal offshore Italy from US oil major Exxon Mobil, reported Reuters citing two sources familiar with the matter.

A potential deal is expected to value the overall LNG terminal at about €800m ($881m).

In March 2023, Reuters reported that Exxon was looking to divest its majority stake in Adriatic LNG as part of its strategy to offload its assets that it considers ‘noncore’.

The companies shortlisted for the majority stake in the terminal include Igneo Infrastructure Partners, BlackRock, German asset manager IKAV, and energy infrastructure group VTTI, one of the sources said.

VTTI is linked to commodity trader Vitol and Australian infrastructure fund IFM.

Through its subsidiary ExxonMobil Italiana Gas, Exxon owns a 70.7% stake in the Adriatic terminal while Italian gas grid operator Snam holds a 7.3% interest.

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QatarEnergy subsidiary Qatar Terminal Company owns the remaining 22% stake in the terminal, which is managed by Italy’s Terminale GNL Adriatico.

Snam holds the first right of refusal in the event that Exxon decides to sell its stake in the regasification terminal.

Rothschild & Co. is advising Exxon on the sale process, which has attracted interest from several international groups and infrastructure funds.

Exxon’s move comes amid Italy’s efforts to increase its LNG imports to partly replace the pipeline gas from Russia.

In 2022, the terminal’s regasification capacity was expanded to nine billion cubic metres (bcm) of natural gas per year, from 8bcm.

The terminal is located in the northern Adriatic Sea, approximately 15km off Porto Viro in the Veneto region.