ConocoPhillips to sell stake in Clyden oil sands asset to ExxonMobil for $720 mn

US energy giant ConocoPhillips today said it will sell its entire stake in Alberta's Clyden oil sands leasehold in Canada to ExxonMobil and Imperial Oil Ltd, for about $720 million (C$751 million).

The Houston-based company will sell its 100 per cent interest in the Clyden oil sands leasehold to ExxonMobil Canada and Imperial Oil (Imperial is controlled by ExxonMobil), which comprises of 226,000 net acres of undeveloped land.

Clyden is located near the southern edge of the Athabasca oil sands and south of Fort McMurray, Alberta.

ConocoPhillips currently holds approximately 1.1 million net acres of land in the Athabasca Region of northeastern Alberta.

The significant bitumen deposits on these lands are estimated to contain resources of approximately 16 billion barrels, making ConocoPhillips the holder of one of the largest land and resource positions in the region.

ConocoPhillips said that it expects to record an after-tax gain of approximately $450 million.

Including this transaction, ConocoPhillips has announced sale of approximately $13.5 billion of non-strategic assets as part of its 2012-13 asset disposition programme.

The company said it has received $3.8 billion in proceeds from completed sales till 30 June and that it expects the remainder by year-end 2013.

ConocoPhillips will use the proceeds for general corporate purposes and advance its existing growth programmes.

Early last year, ConocoPhillips had announced plans to sell 50 per cent of its stake in six Alberta properties, spread over 715,000 acres, that produce around 12,000 barrels of oil a day from an estimated 30 billion barrels of bitumen.

The company said it has retained Scotia Waterous to run the sale process, but has been silent about the auction that was reported to have attracted interests from international oil companies, including from China.

The Alberta assets comprise the Surmont project, Thornbury, Clyden, Saleski, Crow Lake and McMillan Lake.