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French company TotalEnergies TTE-N says it has finalized its sale of its 50 per cent stake in the Surmont oil sands project to U.S. oil company ConocoPhillips COP-N in a deal worth up to $4.4-billion.

Canadian oil producer Suncor Energy Inc. SU-T had announced last April its intention to acquire Total’s share of Surmont as part of a larger $6.1-billion deal that would also see Suncor acquire Total’s stake in the Fort Hills oil sands project.

But ConocoPhillips, the operator and 50 per cent owner of the Surmont project near Fort McMurray, Alta., threw a wrench into those plans by exercising its right of first refusal on the remaining stake.

Suncor says it will still acquire Total’s 31 per cent stake in the Fort Hills oil sands mine for about $1.47 billion.

Suncor has been keen to acquire Total's oil sands assets in order to secure additional bitumen supply to support its Base Plant upgraders, should the company not get the needed regulatory approval for a mine extension.

Once the Fort Hills deal closes by the end of 2023, Total will have exited the Canadian oil sands entirely.

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