Foreign interest grows in Canadian shale

April 15, 2013 at 9:09 AM
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LONDON, April 15 (UPI) -- As much as 250 million cubic feet of natural gas per day is expected to come from Western Canadian assets, British and Qatari energy companies said.

British energy company Centrica announced it agreed with Qatar Petroleum International to acquire energy assets from Suncor Energy in Western Canada for about $1 billion.

Centrica said the assets hold around 978 billion cubic feet of natural gas equivalent, of which 90 percent is expected in natural gas. The area is expected to give up as much as 250 million cubic feet of natural gas this year.

"I am delighted to achieve our first investment with QPI under (a memorandum of understanding), and the establishment of a new partnership in North America," Centrica Chief Executive Officer Sam Laidlaw said in a statement. "The acquisition provides attractive returns in a region we know well and significantly increases the size and quality of our portfolio."

Suncor said deal, expected to close in the third quarter of 2013, is subject to regulatory approval.

The deal includes more than 1 million acres of undeveloped land in Alberta. Centrica said there is a "significant potential for reserves" available there through horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing.

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