Norway’s Equinor ASA said on Jan. 20 it has sold its stake in Athabasca Oil, a Canadian oil sands firm.
Majority state-owned Equinor sold 100 million shares, representing an 18.8% stake in Athabasca for a total of 18 million Canadian dollars (US$14.2 million).
Equinor, formerly called Statoil, received the shares in 2017 as part of a deal to sell its Kai Kos Dehseh oil sands project in the Canadian province of Alberta.
“This was just a financial holding that was part of the deal when we exited... We have no other interests onshore Canada now,” an Equinor spokesman said.
Athabasca produced 20,200 bbl/d of oil sands crude in the third-quarter of 2020, accounting for about two-thirds of its total output, according to regulatory filings.
In 2017, Equinor pledged not to invest in oil sands, a heavy oil resource, production of which requires more energy than production of conventional sources and thus resulting in higher greenhouse gas emissions. (US$1 = CA$1.2707)
Some 71% of senior oil and gas professionals and executives surveyed by DNV GL expect to increase or maintain investment in renewable energy, decarbonizing oil and gas production and new low-carbon technologies.
Renewable energy growth is estimated at an annual average rate of 11% between 2015 and 2035, with growth in wind and solar capacity up nine-fold from seven percent of total power supply today to nearly 40% by 2040, energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie estimates.
The total capital investment of the Project is over $150 million, and there will be up to 250 people employed at the site during the height of construction activity.