TORONTO Jan 31 Barrick Gold Corp has
started a process to sell its oil and gas unit, Barrick Energy,
as it seeks to offload non-core assets, a company spokesman said
Barrick, the world's top gold miner, is selling the unit in
an auction process, a spokesman said.
"Barrick is currently evaluating opportunities to optimize
the company's global portfolio as part of a disciplined capital
allocation framework introduced in 2012," said spokesman Andy
Lloyd in an email.
"Opportunities to divest non-core assets, including Barrick
Energy, are under consideration as part of this process."
Lloyd would not say how much Barrick expected to raise in
the auction or whether there had already been expressions of
Barrick acquired the oil and gas assets, in Canada's energy
producing province of Alberta, in 2008 in an effort to hedge
against rising energy costs. Barrick Energy produces some 9,000
barrels of oil equivalent a day.
The company is selling the unit as the spread has grown
between Alberta oil prices and the Texas crude price.
Barrick Energy's sales are at Edmonton Par price, while the
miner's energy costs are benchmarked against the WTI price.
The gold producer has struggled in recent quarters with
escalating capital costs and delays at its massive Pascua-Lama
gold project on the border between Chile and Argentina.
Earlier this month, talks to sell its African Barrick
subsidiary to China National Gold Group Corp
fell apart after the miners failed to agree on price.