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Sat 1 Sep 2012 09:39 AM

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Kuwait denies signing $4bn oil deal in Canada

Kuwait Petroleum Corp rebuffs report on agreement to invest in northern Alberta oil sands

Kuwait denies signing $4bn oil deal in Canada

Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) said late on Friday it had not signed a deal in Canada after reports it had completed a preliminary agreement with Athabasca Oil Corp to develop the Alberta oil sands.

"No agreement has been signed. Projects or any investment (are) subject to approvals of KPC board and the Supreme Petroleum Council, and this has not taken place so far," it said in a statement in English to Kuwait News Agency.

Athabasca said on Friday it had signed a letter of intent to jointly develop the Hangingstone and Birch oil sands properties without naming its partner, which a source familiar with the talks identified as the state-owned KPC.

The company said the deal is conditional upon finalising details and garnering regulatory approvals, and gave no assurance that it will be completed.

Athabasca spokeswoman Heather Douglas said on Friday she could not confirm or deny the identity of the would-be joint-venture partner.

Athabasca's Hangingstone property is its most advanced oil sands holding, with first production expected by the end of 2014. Construction is scheduled to start at the end of 2012.

The company has said it has the potential to eventually produce 80,000 barrels a day using steam-assisted gravity drainage, where steam is injected into the ground to loosen the tar-like crude so it can be pumped to the surface.

Birch could eventually support 155,000 barrels a day, though the company has said it plans to submit a regulatory application for a 12,000 barrel a day project later this year.

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