Canada’s Suncor Energy said on Sept. 16 it had partnered with eight indigenous communities to buy all of TC Energy Corp.’s 15% stake in the Northern Courier Pipeline LP.

Suncor, three First Nations and five Métis communities will own a 15% stake in this pipeline asset with a value of about CA$1.3 billion. (US$1.03 billion).

Oil and gas companies have been increasingly partnering with Canada’s First Nations on projects as they play a pivotal role in Canada’s oil industry. Governments and companies have a legal duty to consult and accommodate First Nations before proceeding with resource projects affecting their territories.

However, some indigenous groups oppose such partnerships and deals.

The partnership is expected to generate gross revenues of about CA$16 million annually for its partners and provide reliable income, Suncor said in a statement.

The indigenous communities’ participation in the deal is funded through a non-recourse financing that is supported by a loan guarantee of up to CA$40 million from the Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corp.

The Northern Courier Pipeline asset consists of two 90-km pipelines that transport bitumen and diesel or crude from Fort Hills in Alberta’s Athabasca region to a storage, blending and cooling facility located about 30 km north of Fort McMurray, Alberta.

(US$1 = 1.2635 Canadian dollars)