Shell and Exxon’s UK subsidiary Esso have put up their selected assets in the UK North Sea for sale, following depletion in reserves, high costs and obsolete facilities. The companies have also entered into exclusive negotiations with UK oil company Fairfield Energy Ltd. to unload their Dunlin fields interests.

Royal Dutch Shell reportedly stated that this sale would affect about 25,000 to 30,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day out of its total U.K. daily output of 350,000 barrels of oil equivalent.

Many analysts believe that the oil majors should reduce their exposure to the North Sea and reinvest money in more prospective regions but UK-registered companies like Shell and rival BP Plc are cautious about showing a lack of commitment to the UK North Sea.