Shell and Exxon Mobil have launched the sale of their 50-50 Dutch natural gas producing joint venture (JV), NAM, to capitalise on surging energy prices, Reuters has reported.

A potential sale of one of Europe’s largest and oldest natural gas production ventures could earn the firms up to $1.5bn, sources familiar with the development told the publication.

The move forms part of the partners’ plan to offload their assets, which they consider ‘no longer critical’ to their operations.

The assets considered for sale include NAM’s offshore gas operations, including several fields and approximately 20 offshore platforms, in addition to three processing plants and a network of pipelines.

The assets being put up for sale reported production rates of approximately 2.4 million cubic metres per day of natural gas last year.

These assets also have the potential to increase the production capacity to 2.8 million cubic metres per day with additional investment.

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By GlobalData

Sources said that NAM also owns several late-life assets, which entail large investments for dismantling and clean-up operations upon their closures.

In October 2021, NAM said it planned to offload its oil and gas fields in the Netherlands in the coming years in the wake of the Dutch government’s ruling to close the Groningen field.

International asset management group IKAV recently agreed to acquire oil and gas producer Aera Energy.

IKAV signed two separate transactions with the joint venture subsidiaries of ExxonMobil and Shell to acquire Aera Energy.

Most of the Aera Energy’s production is centred in the San Joaquin Valley where it operates nearly 13,000 wells.