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Athabasca Oil looking to sell midstream oilsands assets

One of the participants in the recent wave of “Canadianization” of the oilsands says it is now looking to shed some of its assets.
Athabasca
The Cheecham Terminal south of Fort McMurray.

One of the participants in the recent wave of “Canadianization” of the oilsands says it is now looking to shed some of its assets.

Athabasca Oil Corporation closed its purchase of the Leismer oilsands project and related infrastructure from Norway’s Statoil in January 2017. The transaction, valued at up to $832 million, occurred in the early stages of a wave that now has Canadian-headquartered companies operating about 80 percent of current oilsands production volumes.

Athabasca, which also owns the Hangingstone SAGD project and drilling operations in the Montney and Duvernay, says it is “exploring monetization options” for its thermal oil infrastructure.

This includes a 300,000-barrel tank farm at Cheecham, south of Fort McMurray, and dilbit and diluent pipelines between the Leismer project and Cheecham.

“The company intends to explore a wide range of alternatives for this infrastructure which could include a sale, partnership or joint venture,” Athabasca said in its 2017 results report this week. The company said tank farm and pipelines will “remain a strategic asset for future growth initiatives” at Leismer and at the proposed Corner project, which has regulatory approval.

Athabasca said it has “flexibility” in where to apply proceeds of a transaction, including applying to its balance sheet, investing in opportunities across its asset base or initiating a share buyback program.

The company reported a net loss of $209.4 million in 2017, compared to net loss of $936.7 million in 2016.