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.
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.