Statoil sells its oil sands business

December 14, 2016 | Last modified December 16, 2016 09:21 CET
Photo of the Leismer facilty
The Leismer facility in Alberta, Canada. (Photo: Lawrence Sauter)

Statoil has signed an agreement to divest its 100% owned Kai Kos Dehseh (KKD) oil sands projects in the Canadian province of Alberta to Athabasca Oil Corporation (TSX: ATH).

The transaction covers the producing Leismer demonstration plant and the undeveloped Corner project, along with a number of midstream contracts associated with Leismer’s production. Following this transaction, Athabasca will take over operatorship of Leismer and Corner and Statoil will no longer operate any oil sands assets. 

The total consideration of the transaction to Statoil is up to  CAD 832 million, which includes a cash consideration of CAD 435 million and CAD 147 million to be paid in the form of 100 million common shares in Athabasca. Statoil’s share position, constituting just below 20% of the equity in Athabasca, will be managed as a financial investment. In addition, up to CAD 250 million will be paid in a series of contingent payments. In total, approximately 80% of the consideration will be in cash elements.

“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. The Statoil organisation has since 2007 continuously improved operational performance, kept a good safety record and delivered strong production from Leismer. We consider Athabasca a prudent operator and very well placed to take these assets forward”, says Lars Christian Bacher, Statoil’s Executive Vice-President for Development & Production International.

Statoil entered KKD through the acquisition of North American Oil Sands Corporation in 2007. In 2011 PTTEP acquired a 40% interest, and in 2014 Statoil and PTTEP agreed to divide their respective interests in KKD. Statoil has continued as operator and 100% owner for the Leismer and Corner projects.

Portrait of Lars Christian Bacher
Lars Christian Bacher, executive vice president, Development Production International.

The divestment will trigger an impairment of  USD 500-550 million, excluding negative currency effects from the CAD-USD exchange rate at closing.

The effective date of the transaction is 1 January 2017. Closing is subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions precedent, including regulatory approvals.

About Statoil
Statoil is an international energy company with operations in 37 countries. Building on more than 40 years of experience from oil and gas production on the Norwegian continental shelf, we are committed to accommodating the world's energy needs in a responsible manner, applying technology and creating innovative business solutions. We are headquartered in Stavanger, Norway with approximately 21,000 employees worldwide, and are listed on the New York and Oslo stock exchanges.

About Athabasca
Athabasca Oil Corporation is a Canadian intermediate sized energy company with a focused strategy on the sustainable development of its asset base which is exclusively located in Alberta. Current operations include the development of the liquids rich Montney and Duvernay resource plays and the ramp-up of its Hangingstone oil sands project which is expected to reach design capacity in 2018.