Aera Energy LLC, one of the Taft area's largest oil producers and employers, is in the process of being sold.

IKAV, German-based asset management group,announced Thursday it has agreed to acquire 100% membership interest in Aera from ExxonMobil and Shell in two separate transactions.

Exxon and Shell have jointly operated Aera since its founding in 1997.

Aera President and CEO Erik Bartsch said in a statement he looked forward to the proposed purchase."It tells us they believe in the need for oil and gas for decades to come and are confident in our ability to deliver innovative solutions that will help California meet its bold climate goals," he said.

IKAV Chairman Constantin von Wasserschleben also issued a statement.

“In addition to our long-term goal and commitment to renewable energy, we recognize the continued need for oil and gas and for these assets to be operated safely and responsibly to facilitate a smooth and sustainable transformation of our energy supply, von Wasserschleben said. "We advocate a co-existence between renewable and conventional energy for decades to come. Aera fits our philosophy, and we are excited to be working with its exceptional team, who share our culture and long-term ambitions. Together, we have the expertise required to find innovative solutions to meet California’s energy demand as well as its future climate goals.”

Aera is headquartered in employs about 1,000 people, most in Kern County, and produces about 25 percent of California's oil.