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Statoil to sell stake in oilsands to Athabasca Oil Corp.

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CALGARY, A.B. —  Norwegian oil company Statoil ASA said yesterday that it will be selling its stake in the oilsands to Calgary-based Athabasca Oil Corp. in a deal worth as much as $832 million.

The Financial Post is reporting that the sale is the latest departure of an oil major from operations in Western Canada. Statoil plans to sell its Kai Kos Dehseh project, Leismer demonstration plant, another undeveloped project, and other midstream assets for $450 million cash, plus $147 million in common shares.

The company is also eligible to receive as much as $250 million in additional payments if the price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil rises above $65 per barrel.

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The deal marks a full divestment from the oilsands for Statoil, as higher costs and a lack of market access continue to challenge heavy oil producers in Western Canada. However, Statoil says it will maintain a 20 percent stake in Athabasca, which it will continue to manage as a financial asset.

Statoil entered the Kai Kos Dehseh development in 2007 after buying North American Oil Sands Corporation. In 2011, a subsidiary of the Thailand-based PTT Exploration and Production PLC bought a 40 per cent stake in the project, before the two companies divided the asset into their respective interests two years ago.

Athabasca Oil says that the purchase boosts the company’s total production capacity up from 24,000 barrels per day to roughly 40,000 barrels per day.

Story courtesy The Financial Post with files from Bloomberg News: http://business.financialpost.com/news/energy/statoil-to-sell-canada-oil-sands-assets-to-athabasca-in-deal-worth-up-to-832-million?__lsa=9742-b90c

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