Cenovus buying most of ConocoPhillips’s Canadian assets

CALGARY — Cenovus Energy announced Wednesday it will pay $17.7 billion Canadian (US$ 13.2 billion) for most of ConocoPhillips’ Canadian assets.

Houston-based ConocoPhillips is the latest company to reduce exposure to Canada’s oil sands — the world’s third-largest oil reserves.

Cenovus CEO Brian Ferguson called it a “transformational acquisition” for the Calgary-based company.

The deal includes ConocoPhillips’s 50 per cent interest in FCCL Partnership, an oil sands venture between the two companies in northern Alberta, as well as the majority of ConocoPhillips’s Deep Basin conventional assets in Alberta and British Columbia. The combined assets have forecast 2017 production of approximately 298,000 barrels of oil equivalent daily.

Royal Dutch Shell earlier this month sold most of its oil sands holdings to Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. Shell CEO Ben van Beurden said then the deal would allow the company to focus on assets such as deep water oil and gas that offer higher returns on capital. Oil sands are a type of unconventional petroleum deposit.

Ryan Lance, ConocoPhillips’ chairman and CEO, called his company’s deal with Cenovus a “win-win” and said it would allow ConocoPhillips to reduce its debt.

“ConocoPhillips Canada will now focus exclusively on our Surmont oil sands and the liquids-rich Blueberry-Montney unconventional asset,” Lance said in a statement.

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