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Suncor Energy Inc. says it is looking to increase its ownership stake in the White Rose offshore oil field to 40 per cent from 27.5 per cent.

Suncor says the deal depends on Cenovus Energy Inc. deciding to move ahead with the expansion of West White Rose, which Cenovus operates off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador.

The $2.2-billion West White Rose Project was intended to access 200 million barrels of crude oil and extend the life of the White Rose field.

But the future of West White Rose has been in doubt since Cenovus acquired the project’s former operator, Husky Energy Inc., in January.

The White Rose oil field asset is jointly owned by Suncor and Cenovus, which holds a 72.5 per cent stake. Suncor says it will receive a cash payment from Cenovus in exchange for increasing its stake in the project.

Suncor says Cenovus will make a decision about restarting the West White Rose expansion by mid-2022. It says there will not be a significant capital spend before 2023.

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