BP oilsands sale may lead to Permian Basin buys
Reuters sources say BP Plc may sell its stakes in three Alberta oilsands projects.
The possible BP oilsands sales would allow the multi-national oil giant to focus on its core business in Egypt, Azerbaijan, the Gulf of Mexico, the North Sea and Trinidad in the coming years. Also, the cash may allow BP to invest in the Permian Basin rush.
BP holds a 50 per cent share in the Sunrise thermal oilsands project with operator Husky Energy. Worth about $810 million, the 36,000 b/d Sunrise project is the most valuable of the company’s oilsands assets.
According to Husky, the plant is in the process of ramping up production to full capacity of 60,000 b/d, but the process has been slower than expected and the company is drilling extra wells to speed up production. Currently, the 2017 production forecast for Sunrise is 40,000 to 44,000 b/d.
Sources say that Husky is not looking to increase its exposure to the oilsands, but it may consider purchasing the asset if the price is right.
Husky spokesman Mel Duvall declined comment when Reuters asked if the company had discussed buying out BP’s shares. “We take a look at everything, but we have a number of organic growth opportunities,” he added.
Another BP oilsands project that could be up for sale is Pike, which the company co-owns with Devon Energy Corp. The final Alberta oilsands project owned by BP is the Terre de Grace pilot project.
BP declined to comment on the possible sale.
According to sources wishing to remain confidential, BP has discussed with its advisers the possibility of selling the stakes, although, no final decision has been made.
Recently, ConocoPhillips and Royal Dutch Shell sold their Alberta oilsands assets which are among the world’s most expensive oil plays to develop.
Last week, Reuters reported that Chevron was looking at selling its 20 per cent stake in the Athabasca Oil Sands project, which could be a $2.5 billion sale.