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Total agrees sale of Joslyn oil sands project to Canadian Natural Resources for C$225 million

London — Total and its partners have agreed to sell the Joslyn oil sands mining project in Canada to Canadian Natural Resources for C$225 million, four years after halting the project due to low oil prices.

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Total, which has expressed skepticism over the long-term future of oil sands projects due to rising global climate concerns, in 2014 suspended the 100,000 b/d Joslyn oil sands mining project and sold part of its stake in the 180,000 b/d Fort Hills project in northern Alberta to partner Suncor Energy in 2015.

Since 2014, activities on Joslyn have been limited to fulfilling regulatory requirements and ensuring the safety of the site.

"Reducing our exposure to Canada's oil sands by selling this asset is in line with our global strategy to focus our oil investments on low breakeven resources and develop a resilient portfolio in the mid and long term," Total CEO Patrick Pouyanne said in a statement.

The Joslyn project partners include Total, which operates with a 38.25% stake, Suncor Energy (36.75%), Joslyn Partnership (15%) and Inpex (10%).

Under the sale deal, CNR said it will pay the partners a total consideration of C$100 million cash on closing and annual cash payments of $25 million over each of the next five years.

Total has been present in Canada's upstream since 1999 and holds a 24.58% interest in Fort Hills and a 50% interest in the Surmont project. In 2017, the Group's production in Canada was 59,000 b/d.

The transaction, subject to regulatory approval, is targeted to close September 28.

--Robert Perkins,

--Edited by Jonathan Loades-Carter,