Koch Industries' Canadian energy division has put interests in several Alberta oil sands properties on the auction block, adding to a growing list of opportunities for developing the massive resource being shopped to potential bidders.
Koch Oil Sands Operating ULC is offering stakes in six properties comprising 220,000 net acres, with total bitumen in place estimated at more than 8 billion barrels, according to Western Divestments, the financial adviser for the offering.
The recoverable resource potential is pegged at 2.9 billion barrels, which could put the overall value of the assets in a range between C$900 million and more than C$3 billion ($890 million and more than $2.9 billion), depending on the quality and proximity to other holdings, FirstEnergy Capital Corp analyst Michael Dunn said.
However, Koch did not specify what percentage it might offer in the assets.
They include properties in the Cold Lake, Mackay, Firebag, Muskwa, Namur and Pelican Lake regions of Alberta, the western Canadian province whose oil sands resources represent the world's third-largest crude deposit.
"Just to generalize, the leases would be worth the most to those who are next door to them," Dunn said. Those operators could be interested in adding to their own acreage, he said.
Western Divestments said the assets could eventually produce more than 300,000 barrels a day.
Koch officials were not immediately available to comment on the plans.
U.S. billionaire Koch brothers, known for their support of conservative causes, own the company and are longtime players in Canada's energy sector.