The heavyweight in production of non-mineable oil sands, using a drilled-well technology called SAGD. An important developer of oil sands technologies, and owner of some of the most lucrative lands around Fort McMurray. It also has an ace card, with some of the same type of fee title lands Encana owns.
Talisman Energy Inc.
Diverse field of assets across the globe. Heavy in natural gas, a beaten-down commodity that has kept Talisman shares low, but drawn heavy international investment in recent years. And it’s already started down the path: on Monday, Talisman signed a deal giving Sinopec 49-per-cent ownership of its North Sea operations for $1.5-billion.
Canadian Oil Sands Ltd
Owns 36.74 per cent of Syncrude, a major oil sands miner. Chinese companies have already shown interest in Syncrude, with Sinopec buying a 9-per-cent stake for $4.65-billion (U.S.). CNOOC also would gain a 7.23-per-cent stake in the asset if its acquisition of Nexen goes through. COS would be a simple transaction – it employs few companies and doesn’t operate the asset, but provides a direct ownership of a substantial crude supply.
MEG Energy Corp.
A smaller, but growing oil sands company – just above 28,000 barrels a day of output this year, with plans to increase that nearly 10-fold by 2020. Owns land that contains over 2 billion barrels of reserves, so it possesses enough oil to be significant. Another developer of new oil sands technology. Plus, it’s already partly in foreign hands, with CNOOC owning 14.8 per cent.
Athabasca Oil Corp.
An oil sands developer that’s moving into tight oil – but has substantial oil sands assets, and a target of g 220,000 barrels a day by 2020. Still early stage, but has already succeeded in winning major overseas investment, through joint ventures with PetroChina, which has subsequently bought one Athabasca project outright, and is expected to do the same with another.
Crescent Point Energy Corp.
Large land base in light, tight oil, the stuff that has set U.S. energy output on fire. Assiduously run. Big enough to matter, with 90,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day, and plenty of running room for future years. Expensive based on current reserves, but exploring technologies that could bring enough oil to surface that its current valuation looks cheap.
Several former trusts are smaller companies, but still significant energy producers that could win outside dollars: PennWest Exploration, Baytex Energy Corp. and ARC Resources Ltd.
Nathan Vanderklippe with files from reporter Carrie Tait