Canadian Natural Resources consolidates in the oil sands from Shell and Marathon for US$9.8 billion
Shell is divesting the majority of its oil sands business to CNRL for Cdn$11.1 billion (US$8.5 billion). In a separate deal, Marathon makes its exit from the resource for Cdn$3.3 billion (US$2.5 billion). The flagship asset from both portfolios is the 255,000-b/d Athabasca Oil Sands Project. CNRL will now operate the mining project with a 70% stake while Shell drops to 10% and Chevron maintains 20%. The exodus of international companies from the Canadian oil sands continues. Shell and Marathon join Statoil and Murphy as companies who have either divested mostly or entirely from the sector during this price downturn. Shell also has the option to later divest entirely of its remaining 10% mining interest. This is part of a process of moving portfolios lower down the cost curve (for instance into US tight oil and advantaged deepwater basins) and to gas. Exiting oil sands mining removes a high cost resource theme from the portfolio with decarbonisation also being a theme.