TotalEnergies plans a Spin-Off in Canada

TotalEnergies is accelerating its energy transition. It plans to divest its Canadian oil sands assets.

TotalEnergies is considering divesting its Canadian oil sands operations. In addition, the new company could be listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. This decision comes at a time when TotalEnergies is working to reduce its emissions. The proposal will be put to a shareholder vote at the next annual general meeting in May 2023.

The new company could produce some 100,000 barrels of oil per day. Thus, it would be the same size as MEG Energy.

TotalEnergies turns away from the oil sands

This spin-off would include the 24.58% interest in the Fort Hills mining project in northern Alberta. In addition, TotalEnergies is considering selling its 50% interest in the Surmont thermal project operated by ConocoPhillips. Finally, its activities related to the intermediate sector and trade are concerned.

TotalEnergies intends to accelerate its energy transition. While Canada’s oil sands contain huge reserves of crude oil, their production is very carbon intensive.

Patrick Pouyanné explains:

“We are not the best shareholder of these assets because as we have a climate strategy, we do not want to invest in these assets.”

In this context, the CEO opts for a spin-off. In fact, this offers several advantages. For example, TotalEnergies does not need to go looking for a buyer. In addition, in order to facilitate the transition, TotalEnergies will temporarily retain a minority stake.

Matt Murphy, an analyst at Raymond James, explains that a demerger would, in fact, be more beneficial for TotalEnergies. However, he has some doubts. He states:

“At the right price, an opportunity like this could attract investor attention, but there is no shortage of yield opportunities in this space.”

Accelerate your withdrawal

TotalEnergies has been withdrawing from the region for several years. In 2020, it took a $9.3 billion write-down on the value of its oil sands assets.

In addition, Suncor’s Fort Hills mining project is experiencing many challenges. Operational issues have been mounting since it began operating in 2018. As a result, costs increase and production remains relatively slow.

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