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Canadian Natural closes acquisition of 70% stake in Athabasca oil sands

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. completed its acquisition of a 70% stake in the Athabasca Oil Sands Project, as well as other assets, from Shell Canada Ltd. and Marathon Oil Corp.

The deals include a 70% interest in the Scotford upgrader and the Quest carbon capture and storage project, along with additional working interests in certain producing and non-producing oil sands leases. Ownership interest in the Athabasca Oil Sands Project is now 70% held by Canadian Natural, 20% by Chevron Canada Ltd. and 10% by Shell Canada and certain subsidiaries, according to a May 31 news release.

In exchange for the assets, Canadian Natural issued 97,560,975 of its common shares worth about C$4 billion to Shell, a combined pre-adjustment cash payment of C$8.24 billion to Shell and Marathon and a deferred payment of US$375 million to Marathon, to be paid by the first quarter of 2018.

Canadian Natural will operate the Athabasca Oil Sands Project mines beginning June 1. Based on the approved 2017 joint venture budget for the project, the targeted June mine production from Canadian Natural's working interest is at 173,000 barrels per day to 191,000 bbl/d, and June budgeted production from the Peace River properties included in the deal is projected at 12,000 bbl/d to 14,000 bbl/d.