Oil­sands get vote of non-con­fi­dence

National Post (National Edition) - - FINANCIAL POST - CLAU­DIA CAT­TA­NEO

Cono­coPhillips’ $17.7 bil­lion sell­off of most of its Cana­dian busi­ness to Cen­ovus En­ergy Inc. ac­cel­er­ates the Cana­di­an­iza­tion of the oil­sands.

This isn’t an in­ter­na­tional re­treat any more, it is a vote of non-con­fi­dence in Cana­dian en­ergy ver­sus other op­por­tu­ni­ties. And it may not be over. Chevron Corp. and To­tal S.A. could be next in line to cash out from the oil­sands, says in­vest­ment bank Tu­dor Pick­er­ing Holt & Co.

“Chevron’s po­si­tion does seem non-core and it could re­de­ploy pro­ceeds into the Per­mian” in the U.S., ac­cord­ing to a re­port to clients.

“To­tal has al­ready sold some of its Fort Hills po­si­tion and we wouldn’t be sur­prised if it sold down fur­ther.”

On the other hand, the firm notes that Exxon Mo­bil Corp. is likely to stay put be­cause of its large ex­po­sure through its af­fil­i­ate, Im­pe­rial Oil Ltd., as will BP PLC, whose oil­sands hold­ings are in­te­grated with its Whit­ing re­fin­ery in the Chicago area.

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