CALGARY – Athabasca Oil is looking for a joint-venture partner to help develop its land in Alberta’s Duvernay shale this year, CEO Sveinung Svarte said Wednesday.
The Calgary-based oil company (TSX:ATH) intends to begin a formal process to find a deal, Svarte said at the TD Securities Calgary Energy Conference.
Athabasca disclosed nearly a year ago that it was in the early stages of forming a joint venture for its Hangingstone and Birch oilsands properties, though no deal has come to fruition yet.
On Wednesday, Svarte said that process is still ongoing.
“We’re still working on that and we hope to have something done, and just cannot tell about the timing,” he said.
“But there’s still parties interested in those joint ventures and we hope to have it done.”
Another Canadian energy company, Talisman Energy Inc. (TSX:TLM), is actively marketing its holdings in the Duvernay as part of a broader plan to trim its portfolio.
John Rossal, Talisman’s senior vice-president for Canada, said the company is aiming for an outright sale.
“Our preference in the North Duvernay would probably be a cash disposition, although if the right JV opportunity came along we would certainly seriously consider that,” Rossal told the conference.
“I think it’s fair to say that the JV market may have cooled somewhat from what we’ve seen a year, two years ago.”
Athabasca’s Svarte said the appetite for Duvernay deals is a lot greater than in the oilsands.