Canada's Athabasca Oil Sands Corp announced on Monday that it plans to sell a 60-percent working interest in its two oilsand projects to PetroChina, a Chinese energy giant.
PetroChina will pay 1.9 billion Canadian dollars (1.7 billion U.S. dollars) for the MacKay River and Dover oilsand projects. The agreements also provide for certain financing arrangements for Athabasca.
The projects are located in the center of Athabasca region in northeastern Alberta, an oil-rich province in western Canada. The company says they contain approximately five billion barrels of bitumen, which can be refined into conventional oil.
"Oilsands projects are very capital-intensive long-term investments and difficult to fully finance in the traditional equity market," Athabasca Chairman Bill Gallacher said in a press release.
"These strategic joint venture arrangements with PetroChina, one of the world's largest energy companies, can ensure that the MacKay River and Dover projects will be developed in (a) timely manner, which is excellent news for Alberta and the rest of Canada," Gallacher added.
Athabasca is focused on the sustainable development of oilsand resources in northern Alberta with net working interest in over 1.3 million acres.