Chevron considering oilsands sale: report

CALGARY — California-based Chevron Corp. is looking at selling its 20 per cent stake in the Athabasca Oil Sands Project in northern Alberta, according to a media report.

The company has discussed with investment banks the idea of selling its stake in the oilsands mine and upgrading project, Reuters reported Thursday, citing anonymous sources.

Chevron said in an email that it had no comment on the report. A spokesman for project operator Royal Dutch Shell said it wouldn’t comment on another company’s business decision.

Several foreign oil companies have reduced their oilsands holdings but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said Thursday when asked about the Chevron report.

“In the oilsands … you are seeing a reorganization,” she said, adding the consolidation of ownership mainly by Canadian companies is allowing more efficient and sustainable production.

“What we are seeing is a specialization within the oil and gas industry and we think our national companies are the ones that are often best placed to deliver that specialization and we are very pleased that that investment is happening.”

Last month, Shell announced it had agreed to sell most of its Canadian oilsands assets to Calgary-based Canadian Natural Resources (TSX:CNQ) for about C$11.1 billion.

The two companies also announced they would buy Houston-based Marathon Oil’s 20 per cent stake in the Athabasca Oil Sands Project for a total of US$2.5 billion. Chevron’s 20 per cent stake in the project was not affected.

The deals are expected to close in mid-2017.

Other foreign companies that have recently reduced exposure to the oilsands include Norway’s Statoil, Arkansas-based Murphy Oil and France-based Total SA.

Last month Cenovus Energy unveiled a blockbuster $17.7-billion deal to buy most of the Canadian assets of Houston-based ConocoPhillips.

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