Tue, Apr. 21, 3:22 PM
- Athabasca Oil (OTCPK:ATHOF) says it has begun operations at its C$708M Hangingstone thermal oil sands project in Alberta, although the facility is not expected to reach its full 12K bbl/day capacity until late next year.
- Athabasca says it began injecting steam used to liquefy tarry oil sands deposits into the Hangingstone reservoir on March 23 and expects first oil from the site within six months.
- The company expects the project to produce as much as 6K bbl/day by year's end, which would double its year-end 2014 production.
Wed, Mar. 18, 11:59 AM
- Athabasca Oil (OTCPK:ATHOF +1.4%) says it will separate the roles of the chairman and CEO effective April 20, with Tom Buchanan remaining as chairman and President Rob Broen taking the CEO role.
- Broen is currently President and COO, having joined the company in 2012 as head of the light oil division, and his promotion is not a surprise to analysts.
- "It’s not uncommon to see an interim CEO put in place to execute some difficult restructuring, before handing over the reins to the heir apparent," says FirstEnergy analyst Michael Dunn.
- The company also says it has ended its cost-structure review and has cut costs in all areas, including cutting its HQ office staff by about half since the start of 2014.
Tue, Mar. 3, 11:27 AM
- Athabasca Oil (OTCPK:ATHOF) says it has received the first of three payments owed to it by PetroChina’s (NYSE:PTR) Canadian subsidiary, part of a deal announced last summer to complete the sale of the Dover oil sands operation in Alberta.
- Athabasca says it was paid C$302.5M ($241.2M), the largest of three interest-bearing promissory notes toward a C$1.18B purchase price for its stake in the Dover project.
- The company has said it expects to use the proceeds to develop its core light oil shale assets in the Kaybob Duvernay area of Alberta as well as its Hangingstone oil sands project southwest of Fort McMurray, Alberta.
Sep. 8, 2014, 8:15 AM
- Athabasca Oil (OTCPK:ATHOF) announces the retirement of CEO Sveinung Svarte effective Sept. 30, and says it is increasing its capital budget for FY 2014.
- ATHOF raises its capital budget to $667M from $527 but maintains its production outlook for H2, seeing output of 6K-6.5K boe.
- Svarte has served as CEO for seven years and will be replaced by current board chairman Tom Buchanan.
Aug. 29, 2014, 2:45 PM
- Athabasca Oil (OTCPK:ATHOF) says it has closed the sale of its 40% interest in the Dover oil sands project to PetroChina (NYSE:PTR) for $1.18B.
- Delays in completing the transaction have weighed on the stock price, and Athabasca says it can now focus on other projects and start a new chapter in its history.
- Shares are halted in Toronto.
Aug. 28, 2014, 11:15 AM
- Athabasca Oil (OTCPK:ATHOF +3.2%) jumps after PetroChina (PTR -1.9%) President Wang Dongjin says the long-delayed $1.23B payment for its stake in the Dover oil sands project will be made soon.
- PTR was supposed to have completed the acquisition in June, but delayed payment amid the Chinese government's corruption investigation into the company; PTR also was said to want to reduce the amount owed because it believed the assets are of poorer quality than expected.
Aug. 6, 2014, 2:27 PM
- Athabasca Oil (OTCPK:ATHOF +0.5%) says it has yet to receive a $1.2B payment from PetroChina for its remaining stake in the Dover oil sands project, but that the two companies have agreed to an undisclosed timeline for closing the deal.
- Athabasca CEO Sveinung Svarte does not say when it expects to be paid or why the deal has taken so long to close, but says the two companies are working to complete the transaction "in a reasonable time frame."
- As part of the Canadian company's Q2 loss of C$0.14/share vs. a loss of C$0.07 in the year-ago quarter, it set aside C$49M to settle a dispute with PTR's local affiliate over costs associated with the abandonment of older wells at Dover and another oil sands development site.
- Svarte denies that talks leading up to the settlement have held up closing the Dover deal.
Aug. 4, 2014, 6:39 AM
- PetroChina (NYSE:PTR) plans to pay the more than $1B it needs to complete a takeover of the Dover oil sands project from Athabasca Oil (OTCPK:ATHOF) by the end of September, Reuters reports.
- PetroChina was supposed to complete the acquisition of Athabasca Oil's 40% stake in the project in June, but delayed the payment while it re-evaluated the transaction amid a government-led corruption probe into the Chinese national oil company.
- Athabasca Oil shares fell last week after it said it was still trying to collect the C$1.23B payment owed to it by a unit of PetroChina.
Jul. 28, 2014, 10:48 AM
- Athabasca Oil (OTCPK:ATHOF -6.8%) is downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform with a $7.50 price target, down from $10, at Raymond James on growing concerns about its relationship with PetroChina (PTR -1.3%).
- The firm sees a risk regarding the anticipated C$1.23B payment from PTR, and it does not expect any improved clarity on the issue for some time.
- The risks around the Dover project put also raise concerns about the pace of development for Athasbasca’s Duvernay assets and the company’s ability to eventually secure a joint venture partner, the firm says.
Jul. 28, 2014, 8:58 AM
- Athabasca Oil (OTCPK:ATHOF) says it is continuing work to close its option to sell its 40% stake in the Dover oil sands project for C$1.32B to PetroChina (NYSE:PTR).
- Athabasca is depending on the payment from PTR to fund its drilling program, including in the Duvernay shale in Alberta.
- A put option exercised by Athabasca on April 17 forces a PTR subsidiary to buy the 40% it does not own in the undeveloped Dover oil sands project, based on a 2010 agreement.
- Recent reports suggest PTR is trying to lower its Dover project put payment.
Jul. 18, 2014, 6:55 PM
- A corruption probe in China reaches deeper into PetroChina’s (NYSE:PTR) operations in Canada’s oil industry, as a fourth high-ranking company official involved in oil sands deals is now believed to be under investigation.
- The first three of the executives had frequent dealings with Athabasca Oil (OTCPK:ATHOF), which partnered with PTR in 2010 in a $5B joint venture to develop the MacKay River and Dover oil sands projects.
- Athabasca is awaiting a $1.23B payment from PTR after it exercised an option to sell its remaining 40% of the Dover project, and ATHOF investors are nervous that PTR will not honor the payment, which was expected by the end of June.
Jul. 14, 2014, 3:58 PM
- Despite reports of reservations among Chinese companies about their investment projects in Canada, PetroChina (PTR +1.6%) says it is committed to completing its C$1.32B purchase of the stake it doesn’t own in the Dover oil sands project in Canada soon.
- PTR is working with Athabasca Oil (OTCMKTS:ATHOF) to close the purchase of the latter's 40% stake in Dover; Athabasca's shares have suffered as the company awaits the payment, which it’s earmarking to fund other drilling.
Jul. 12, 2014, 8:25 AM
- The problem facing Canada isn't the Keystone pipeline or Pres. Obama or environmentalists - it's the oil sands, and they've got to be cleaned up and the head-in-the-sand denials chased way or the country will be stuck with a "baby seal hunt" image, Diane Francis writes in the Financial Post.
- The columnist thinks she knows the right person to lead the clean-up: Jeff Immelt - "an American leader with stature in Washington, on Wall Street, in the oil patch and in Silicon Valley" - who said this week that GE will help companies clean up the oil sands.
- The only way to stop the environmental excuses, Immelt believes, is for the industry to collaborate and voluntarily establish lower emissions targets that would make the oil sands competitive with any other fuel source in the world - without such a promise to provide cleaner energy, "all bets are off."
- Some related companies: XOM, IMO, SU, RDS.A, RDS.B. ENB, TRP, CNQ, CVE, CVX, COP, BP, KMP, WPZ, TOT, STO, CEO, SNP, PTR, HUSKF, ATHOF, COSWF.
Apr. 17, 2014, 3:11 PM
- Athabasca Oil (ATHOF) says it has exercised its option to sell its 40% stake in the planned Dover oil sands project to partner PetroChina (PTR) for C$1.32B ($1.2B) after the project received final approvals from Alberta's government.
- PTR can now build Dover, which could eventually produce as much as 250K bbl/day of oil sands bitumen; Athabasca plans to use the proceeds to develop its other oil sands and light oil projects in Alberta.
Apr. 16, 2014, 10:48 AM
- Alberta looks likely to implement energy efficiency measures when it revamps its climate-change policy to win support for its oil sector, an about-face on the former premier’s vow that the province wouldn’t enact new rules until the U.S. did.
- The province plans to have new regulations on emissions in the near future and may include a higher carbon price, Alberta's environment minister says.
- The struggle by Alberta’s oil producers for access to new markets, as reflected in U.S. delays in approving the Keystone XL (TRP) pipeline, comes amid opposition to oil sands bitumen because of its higher carbon intensity and concerns around air and water pollution.
- Relevant companies include ECA, ENB, EEP, STO, XOM, IMO, SU, CVE, PGH, BP, CNQ, BTE, DVN, IVAN, AAV, RDS.A, RDS.B, PTR, ATHOF
Mar. 13, 2014, 2:52 PM
- The Dover oil sands project backed by PetroChina (PTR) and Athabasca Oil (ATHOF) receives approval from Alberta's provincial government, the next-to-last step needed before Athabasca can sell its share of the project to its Chinese partner for C$1.32B ($1.2B).
- With the approval in hand, Athabasca needs only a final permit from the government's environment department before exercising a put that allows it to sell its stake to PTR; the final permit typically takes up to a month to issue.
- The proposed five-phase Dover project eventually is expected to produce 250K bbl/day using steam-assisted gravity drainage.
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