Equinor divests stake in Canada oil sands producer Athabasca

FILE PHOTO: Equinor's flag flutters next to the company's headqurters in Stavanger, Norway December 5, 2019. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

OSLO (Reuters) - Norway’s Equinor said on Wednesday it has sold its stake in Athabasca Oil, a Canadian firm producing carbon-intensive oil sands.

Majority state-owned Equinor sold 100 million shares, representing an 18.8% stake in Athabasca for a total of 18 million Canadian dollars ($14.2 million).

Equinor, formerly called Statoil, received the shares in 2017 as part of a deal to sell its Kai Kos Dehseh oil sands project in the Canadian province of Alberta.

“This was just a financial holding that was part of the deal when we exited... We have no other interests onshore Canada now,” an Equinor spokesman said.

Athabasca produced 20,200 barrels per day of oil sands crude in the third-quarter of 2020, accounting for about two-thirds of its total output, according to regulatory filings.

In 2017, Equinor pledged not to invest in oil sands, a heavy oil resource, production of which requires more energy than production of conventional sources and thus resulting in higher greenhouse gas emissions.

Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis, editing by Terje Solsvik