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U.S. oil markets more attractive than Canada's

May 24, 2013 at 7:35 AM   |   Comments

NEW YORK, May 24 (UPI) -- Shale oil plays in the United States may be more attractive to investors than oil sands in Canada's Alberta province, a financial analyst said.

Marathon Oil Corp. announced that it terminated an offer to sell 20 percent of its interest in the Athabasca oil sands project in Alberta, Canada.

"Marathon Oil is not engaged in further discussions with respect to a potential sale of these assets; however, the company will continue to evaluate ways to optimize its portfolio for profitable growth and to deliver value to shareholders," it said in a statement.

Canadian crude oil prices are lower than other benchmarks in part because deliveries are limited by a lack of pipeline access.

Oppenheimer & Co. analyst Fadel Gheit told Bloomberg News that U.S. shale oil markets were more attractive because of Canadian market issues.

"The oil sands is languishing right now because they're really in direct competition with the shale plays in the U.S.," he said.

Al Monaco, chief executive officer at Canadian pipeline company Enbridge, told Bloomberg this week that pipelines are an integral part of the Canadian economy.

"When you really get down to it, Canada is an export-driven resource economy," he said.

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