Northwest Territories Oil Exploration Leases Fetch $558MM

CALGARY (Dow Jones Newswires), July 5, 2011

Oil companies bid C$536 million (US $558 million) for oil exploration leases in Canada's Northwest Territories, a Canadian government development agency said, with Husky Energy making the largest bid.

Calgary-based Husky, Canada's fifth-largest energy company, bid C$376 million for two oil exploration leases in the Mackenzie Valley, just south of the Arctic Circle. Houston-based ConocoPhillips bid C$67 million, while Shell and ExxonMobil-controlled Imperial Oil each bid C$43 million.

"These lands represent a strategic opportunity for us," Husky spokeswoman Colleen McConnell said. "Expanding into frontier areas is something we continue to look at."

Husky had previously made oil and natural gas discoveries in the Mackenzie Valley region in 2005 and 2006 with its partners in the Stewart and Summmit Creek prospects, which are still under development.

The bids represent the amount Husky and the others intend to spend on exploration on the leases during the first five years of the nine-year leases.

Copyright (c) 2011 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.


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