Blackstone, LLOG Looking To Sell GoM Oil Exploration Venture, Sources Say

Buyout firm Blackstone Group LP and privately held LLOG Exploration Co. are working with an investment bank to sell their Gulf of Mexico (GoM) oil exploration joint venture for more than $2 billion, people familiar with the matter said Nov. 6.

The attempted divestment is the latest to emerge from the U.S. GoM as higher oil prices allow those with capital-intensive investments in the basin to sell them at much more attractive valuations than in recent years.

This is a boon for both strategic players such as LLOG, Exxon Mobil Corp. and China’s Nexen Petroleum, which can deploy the cash from sales into other production areas, and private equity firms including Blackstone and First Reserve, which need to return capital to investors after holding assets for a certain period.