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Oct 19, 2017

Cenovus announces $1.3-billion asset sale in bid to pay down debt

Cenovus selling $1.3B in assets to pay down debt

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Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO) is selling its Palliser oil and gas assets in Alberta to Torxen Energy and Schlumberger for $1.3 billion.

It's the third major asset sale by Cenovus in the last month and a half as the company aims to pay down debt it took on to finance its $17.7-billion purchase of the majority of ConocoPhillips' Canadian assets.

In September, Cenovus separately announced the $512-million sale of its Suffield assets and the divestment of its Pelican Lake heavy oil business for $975 million.

McCreath: Cenovus asset sale the correct move

BNN Commentator Andrew McCreath discusses the major asset sale of Cenovus and its retreat from conventional oil production.

“We continue to target between $4 billion and $5 billion in announced asset sale agreements by the end of the year, and we remain committed to returning to our long-term debt ratio target," CEO Brian Ferguson said in a press release Thursday.

Cenovus added that it continues shopping around its Weyburn asset, with a sale expected before the end of the year, and it's also considering additional non-core asset sales.

Ferguson is aiming to clean up his company's balance sheet before his scheduled retirement at the end of this month. Cenovus has said its outgoing CEO intends to serve as an advisor to the company's chairman until March 31, 2018.