US-base driller Presidio Petroleum is reportedly in advanced talks with oil producer Exxon Mobil to buy around 5,000 shale gas wells.

In August 2021, Exxon unit XTO Energy launched the sale almost 844 operated and 4,104 non-operated wells in the Fayetteville Shale in Arkansas to potential buyers.

The Fayetteville assets were purchased by Exxon for $650m in 2010.

The sale is a part of the company’s effort to raise cash by offloading unsolicited assets, reported Reuters.

It is also expected to help the oil giant to focus on new venture projects in Permian Basin, Texas in US; offshore Brazil; and Guyana.

The acquisition would help Morgan Stanley Energy Partners-backed Presidio in boosting its output.

Two people familiar with the matter told the news agency that talks over the potential deal could still fall apart. Exxon could also consider another buyer or decide to retain the properties.

The wells considered for sale are among the natural gas properties Exxon considered to sell last year.

Exxon established a data room for potential buyers in November 2021 after placing around 5,000 natural gas wells in the Fayetteville Shale on the block.s

At that time, the value of the producing properties was between $400m and $500m, according another person familiar with the matter.

Exxon is looking to close potential sale transaction in January 2022.

The assets’ output stood at around 227 million cubic feet per day (mcfd) in the first half 2012, a decline by half since 2016, reported Reuters citing marketing document.