UPDATE 1-Athabasca Oil completes Dover stake sale to PetroChina unit

Fri Aug 29, 2014 2:40pm EDT

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Aug 29 (Reuters) - Canada's Athabasca Oil Corp said it had closed the sale of its 40 percent interest in the Dover oil sands project to a unit of PetroChina Co Ltd for $1.18 billion.

Athabasca said it received $600 million in cash and $584 million in three interest-bearing promissory notes from the unit, Phoenix Energy Holdings Ltd.

"The company now has ample liquidity to continue development of its Duvernay and Hangingstone core assets and the timing of the cash payments under the promissory notes is aligned with our capital spending plans over the next couple of years," Athabasca Chief Executive Sveinung Svarte said in a statement on Friday.

PetroChina was expected to have completed the acquisition in June, but it delayed payment amid a government-led corruption investigation into the Chinese company, launched more than half a year ago.

The Dover project, 95 kilometers (59 miles) northwest of Fort McMurray in northern Alberta, is expected to produce as much as 250,000 barrels of bitumen per day.

Athabasca's shares rose 4.7 percent to C$7.95 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Up to Thursday's close, the stock had risen about 24 percent since Aug. 6, when the company said a deadline had been set for the deal closure.

It was not immediately clear if the deal value was in Canadian or U.S. dollars. (Reporting by Ashutosh Pandey in Bangalore; Editing by Kirti Pandey)

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