Statoil to sell Canadian oil sands assets to Canada's Athabasca Oil for C$832 mn

Norwegian oil giant Statoil ASA yesterday struck a deal to sell its Canadian oil sands assets to Canada's Athabasca Oil Corp for up to C$832 million.

Under the terms of the deal, Statoil will sell its wholly-owned Kai Kos Dehseh (KKD) oil sands projects for up to C$832 million, which includes C$435 million in cash and C$147 million in shares, which will leave Statoil with just less than 20-per cent stake in Athabasca.

Statoil entered KKD through the acquisition of North American Oil Sands Corporation in 2007.

In 2011, Thailand's PTT Exploration and Production Public Co acquired a 40 per cent stake in KKD, and in 2014 both companies broke up the partnership, and split up the assets.

''Since we entered the oil sands in 2007, our portfolio has changed and also the energy markets have shifted quite fundamentally since then,'' said Paul Fulton, Statoil's country president. ''We've seen a decline in the oil price, and Statoil has a broader portfolio of assets that it needs to allocate its capital to.''

''This transaction corresponds with Statoil's strategy of portfolio optimisation to enhance financial flexibility and focus capital on core activities globally, including offshore Newfoundland, Canada. We consider Athabasca a prudent operator and very well placed to take these assets forward'', said, Lars Christian Bacher, Statoil's executive vice-president for Development & Production International.

Athabasca said that the transaction will more than treble its output to 40,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, and add to its existing Hangingstone oil sands project and light oil production in the Montney and Duvernay shale plays in western Canada.

"This transaction is transformational for Athabasca and establishes scale with top tier thermal assets and people," Athabasca's CEO, Robert Broen said in a statement.