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An oil field worker walks up a flight of stairs near wellheads that inject steam into the ground and pump oil out at the Cenovus Energy Christina Lake Steam-Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) project 120 km (74 miles) south of Fort McMurray, Alta., in this file photo.

© Todd Korol / Reuters

Cenovus Energy Inc. has confirmed it is in discussions with a potential buyer of its royalty lands in Western Canada.

The company said on Friday it "continues to make progress on its previously announced plan to pursue opportunities to maximize the value of its royalty interest and mineral fee title lands."

Cenovus, one of the country's biggest oil sands firms, did not name the counterparty it is in talks with.

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Reuters reported on Thursday that Calgary-based Cenovus is in "exclusive discussions" with the Teachers for the possible sale of it royalty lands, valued at between $2.5-billion and $3-billion.

The talks are at an "advanced stage," Reuters said.

Cenovus said on Friday that "there is no assurance any agreement will result from the discussions" and that it will not comment further on the matter "until such time as it is appropriate to make a public announcement about a transaction."

The decision to sell is part of Cenovus's plan to buffer the impact of the dramatic fall in North American crude prices. Other companies are making similar moves.

Earlier this year, Cenovus went to the market to raise at least $1.5-billion to help fund its already-cut budget for 2015.

It has also hit pause on some of its oil sands expansion projects.

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