Athabasca Oil Sands ATH.TO 8.51 [-0.11] recently confirmed it had signed a letter of intent with the National Oil Company of Kuwait. The JV agreement may be concluded in Q3 according to Athabasca chief executive Sveinung Svarte.
The agreement may be worth up to $3.1B according to a report by CIBC. The deal involves two of ATH’s properties in northern Alberta — Hangingstone and Birch.
So now that we had Chinese, Japanese and Malaysians taking over our companies, let’s welcome the Kuwaitis. The surprising part is that Kuwait is an oil rich country.
Why is Kuwait diversifying its sources? Is the peak of cheap conventional oil production in sight for this country?
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
Obviously our oil gas resources aren’t trash but we almost treat them that way. Just look at the valuation gap; the value assigned by foreign buyers to our domestic assets versus what we Canadian investors are willing to apply.
Take the junior oil and gas sector; it has been obliterated rendering raising money almost impossible. How are we supposed to develop our resources and grow our juniors into intermediates? If we do not support this sector through investment, how can an intermediate grow into a Nexen or a Talisman?
There’s no doubt about it, foreigners appreciate our resources more than we Canadians do.
Another way to look at it would be: They are either idiots for overpaying or we are the idiots for being so short sighted. It has to be one of the 2 as it can’t be both!
Finally, foreign interest is predominantly focused on large entities. There’s practically no hope of a takeover or a JV agreement with a foreign entity for Junior and intermediate companies.
And since valuations are ridiculously low particularly for juniors, M&A transactions simply don’t make any sense. Unless the ship is sinking, why sell at all to another domestic company ?
To add insult to injury, I am writing this piece in an environment where our October light oil is currently fetches a $1.00/bbl premium to WTI.
What do you think?
Kuwait Petroleum reportedly plans to invest up to $4B in oilsands partnership
Have a great Weekend!