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Foreign oil players make a bet that locals can turn it around Add to ...

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Almost lost in the economic and political squabbling that followed Royal Dutch Shell PLC’s sale of its oil sands assets to Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. was one of the deal’s most telling aspects.

Shell is making a $4-billion bet on CNRL and its ability to thrive in a tough business as the Anglo-Dutch oil major retreats to work on chipping away at its sizable debt and focusing on quicker-return opportunities.

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