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Another energy company exits the Canadian oil sands

Eamon MacMahon / AP

Now it's really a trend. ConocoPhillips announced Wednesday that it's selling most of its Canadian oil sands assets (as well as some Canadian gas holdings) to Cenovus Energy in a $13.3 billion deal. ConocoPhillips said the deal will help to "rapidly reduce debt" and lower the average production costs in its portfolio.

Joining the club: ConocoPhillips' deal comes after global oil giants Statoil and Shell have retreated from their oil sands positions in recent months, and Marathon Oil recently divested from the Alberta heavy oil projects too.

  • Reuters notes that international oil companies are pulling back from the region because "high costs and low crude prices have made it hard for large companies to make an acceptable return."
  • Development of the oil sands is increasingly consolidating into the hands of big Canadian companies.
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