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Athabasca Oil Sands To Sell 40% MacKay River Stake To PetroChina

Wall Street Journal - Jan 3, 2012

Athabasca Oil Sands Corp. (ATH.T) said it was exercising an option to sell a minority stake in one of its oil-sands prospect to PetroChina Co. (PTR), giving full ownership of such a project to a Chinese company for the first time.

Early Tuesday, Athabasca said it would sell a 40% interest in the MacKay River project in northern Alberta to PetroChina for C$680 million ($669 million.) In 2010, Athabasca sold 60% stakes in MacKay and a separate development, Dover, to PetroChina for C$1.9 billion.

Chinese oil companies PetroChina, China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (600028.SH), known as Sinopec, and CNOOC Ltd. (CEO) have all invested heavily in Canada's oil patch. Chinese firms have typically sought to buy into minority stakes in projects or companies. But last year, interest in buying whole companies ratcheted up significantly.

Last year, Sinopec paid C$2.2 billion for Daylight Energy Ltd., a Canadian conventional oil and natural-gas company. In 2010, it paid $4.65 billion for a stake in the massive Syncrude oil-sands project in Alberta. Also last year, CNOOC bought the bankrupt oil-sands producer OPTI Canada Inc.

Read Full Article from Wall Street Journal

- Posted: 2012-01-03 12:41:56

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