ATCO selling Viking-Kinsella gas properties in Alberta to Burlington

Burlington Resources Inc. will purchase ATCO Gas's stake in Viking-Kinsella gas field southeast of Edmonton for $550 million (Can.) effective Jan. 3.

By the OGJ Online Staff

HOUSTON, Dec. 12 -- Burlington Resources Inc., Houston, will purchase ATCO Gas's stake in Viking-Kinsella gas field southeast of Edmonton for $550 million (Can.) effective Jan. 3.

ATCO Gas said it sold the gas properties because they were no longer needed to ensure supply to the company's Northern Alberta customers.

It also said, "As Alberta continues to deregulate its energy industry, ATCO Gas will focus on its core business -- the safe, reliable delivery of natural gas to its customers."

The Alberta Energy and Utilities Board (AEUB) approved the sale this week. ATCO, part of the ATCO Group, plans to file a proposal soon with AEUB outlining how it will share the proceeds with its Northern Alberta utility customers.

Jerome Engler, ATCO gas executive vice-president, said its customers' share of net proceeds will be $385 million, plus related adjustments of $20 million, for a total $405 million. The company's net proceeds are expected to be $150 million, after adjustments, including net book value of $40 million.

If AEUB approves the distribution, ATCO Gas intends to issue checks to customers in February.

The North Core Committee, a group representing ATCO Gas North customers, has approved the distribution proposal. The committee includes the City of Edmonton, Consumers Coalition of Alberta, the University of Alberta, Federation of Alberta Gas Co-ops and Gas Alberta, Municipal Intervenors, Canadian Forest Products, the Assembly of First Nations Alberta Region, and Public Institutional Consumers of Alberta.

The ATCO Group of Companies, based in Alberta, is engaged in distribution, power generation, and other energy services.

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