Oil and gas producer Suncor has signed an agreement to acquire 5% stake in Syncrude Canada joint venture from Murphy Oil for approximately C$937m ($743m).

With the acquisition, Suncor’s stake in the Syncrude joint venture in Alberta will increase to 53.74% from existing 48.74%.

Suncor CEO and president Steve Williams said: "We’re pleased to acquire this additional interest in the Syncrude

"This transaction is a strategic fit for our portfolio given the quality of the resource, our existing interest in Syncrude and the potential for value creation.

The deal follows Suncor’s C$6.6bn ($4.5bn) acquisition of Canadian Oil Sands, which own 36.74% interest in the Syncrude project.

Upon completion of the latest deal, Suncor’s production capacity is expected to increase by 17,500 barrels per day of high-quality light sweet synthetic crude.

Williams added: "This growth gives us even more leverage to oil prices as they recover."

Subject to closing conditions, including regulatory approval under the Competition Act, the transaction is planned to be completed by the end of the second quarter.

Murphy Oil president and CEO Roger Jenkins said: "We are pleased to announce this transaction with a strategic buyer as we continue with the repositioning of our portfolio.

"In recent years we have balanced our offshore business by strategically entering into the onshore unconventional space in North America."

The sale is a part of Murphy Oil’s plan to focus on unconventional assets in North America while strengthening balance sheet.

Suncor expects to grow its production by over 40% to 800,000 barrels per day in 2019 from the levels recorded in 2015.