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Press release from CNW Group

Athabasca Closes Sale of its 40% Interest in the MacKay River Oil Sands Project

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Athabasca Closes Sale of its 40% Interest in the MacKay River Oil Sands Project14:30 EDT Thursday, March 15, 2012CALGARY, March 15, 2012 /CNW/ - Athabasca Oil Sands Corp. (TSX: ATH) has closed the previously announced sale of its 40% interest in the MacKay River oil sands project to Cretaceous Oilsands Holdings Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of PetroChina International Investment Limited, for cash consideration of $680 million (Cdn.), net $200 million (Cdn.) after closing adjustments and Athabasca's repayment of two loans provided by Cretaceous. As a result of the sale of its MacKay River interest, Athabasca has retired all outstanding debt.Athabasca retains a 40% interest in the Dover commercial oil sands project. The Dover development work is being carried out by Dover Operating Corp., a company jointly owned by Athabasca (40%) and Cretaceous Oil Sands Holdings Limited (60%). An application for a 50,000 bbl/d oil sands project on Dover was submitted in December, 2010.Athabasca is a dynamic, Canadian company focused on development of oil resource plays in Alberta, Canada. It has accumulated a large, high quality resource base suitable for extraction of extra heavy crude oil (bitumen) and light oil. The company is well financed and, with its excellent assets and talented people, Athabasca is poised to become a major Canadian oil producer. It is traded on the TSX under the symbol ATH.For further information: Media Heather Douglas Vice President, Communications & External Affairs (403) 532-7408 hdouglas@aosc.com Financial Community  Andre De Leebeeck Director, Partner & Investor Relations (403) 817-8048 adeleebeeck@aosc.com Tracy Robinson Manager, Investor Relations (403) 532-7446 trobinson@aosc.com