ExxonMobil and Imperial Oil have signed an agreement with Whitecap Resources to sell their Montney and Duvernay shale oil and gas assets in Canada for $1.47bn in cash.

The assets comprise 567,000 net acres in the Montney shale and 72,000 net acres in the Duvernay. The sale also includes an additional acreage in other areas of Alberta.

ExxonMobil Canada and Imperial Oil Resources own the assets through their jointly owned company XTO Energy Canada.

The shale assets have a net production capacity of about 140 million cubic feet of natural gas per day (mmcf/d) and approximately 9,000 barrels per day of crude, condensate and natural gas liquids.

ExxonMobil stated: “The sale completes the marketing effort announced in January, and is consistent with ExxonMobil’s strategy to focus upstream resources on key assets to deliver long-term value to shareholders.”

The acquisition is expected to increase Whitecap’s total acreage in the Montney by more than 500%, adding 1,772 drilling locations. In addition, it is anticipated to consolidate some of its working interests at Kakwa, Alberta.

The deal also includes the acquisition of 100% ownership of the 15-07 gas processing facility, a shallow cut facility with 165mmcf/d of capacity.

Whitecap stated: “The acquired assets are characterized by high production rates and reserves, efficient and highly economic liquids-rich assets with significant tier one drilling locations across the entire 672,000 (639,000 net) acres land position.

“Our initial plans are to grow this asset to 50,000 to 60,000 boe/d over the next 3-5 years, at which point there will still be 20 years of tier one drilling inventory to maintain production.

“Our budgeted wells for the Montney and Duvernay rank top decile among our asset base, and pro-forma the Acquisition the Montney and Duvernay will represent the highest proportion of long-term resource potential within our asset portfolio.”

Whitecap plans to fund the acquisition through existing credit facilities and a new committed 4-year term loan.

The transaction is expected to be completed before the end of the third quarter, subject to regulatory approvals.

RBC Capital Markets served as exclusive financial advisor to Imperial and ExxonMobil Canada on the transaction, while National Bank Financial is a financial advisor to Whitecap.