Alberta Oilsands Announces First Steps in Implementation of International Strategy, Update on Rights Offering and Provides Corporate Update
NOT FOR DISSEMINATION IN THE U.S.A.
Calgary, Alberta CANADA, November 19, 2012 /FSC/ - Alberta Oilsands Inc. (AOS - TSX Venture), ("AOS" or the "Company")is pleased to provide a corporate update to its shareholders and to outline its go-forward international strategy.
The Company intends to identify and acquire a majority position in assets which meet the following criteria, with a primary focus on the continent of Africa:
1. Geologically prospective exploration licenses in existing petroleum producing basins, or discovery basins, surrounded by current and expected exploration and drilling activity.
2. Geologically prospective exploration licenses in basins recognized favourably by the Canadian capital markets, and for which a premium is currently being awarded for those companies who are able to secure a critical mass presence.
3. Government granted or privately negotiated acquisitions of assets with minimal work commitments over the next 12 - 18 months, in order to provide both maximum flexibility, and optionality.
The Company is currently negotiating several transactions, and hopes to be in a position to announce additional accretive asset acquisitions meeting the above noted criteria between now and the end of January, 2013.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Company has entered into an agreement (the "Agreement") with a subsidiary of Pan African Oil Ltd. ("PAO") to jointly pursue a production sharing agreement with respect to two blocks, the Kalembe Block (Block 5) and the Fatuma Block (Block 6) (together, the "Blocks"), in which the Company may earn a 43.75% interest in the Blocks. PAO will remain the operator of the Blocks.
The Blocks comprise over one million acres (gross) covering the Kalemie sub-basin on Lake Tanganyika, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo - and in the heart of the East African Rift System. Blocks 5 and 6 are adjacent to acreage held by Total S.A.
Pursuant to the Agreement, the Company has agreed to pay to PAO an aggregate of $1 million (the "Cash Consideration") and 5 million common shares in the capital of the Company at an attributed value of $0.10 per common share (the "Common Shares"). The Cash Consideration will primarily be used to pay for the past and anticipated upcoming costs and expenses of pursuing the production sharing agreement, up to the full amount of the Cash Consideration, after which time costs and expenses will be shared equally by AOS and PAO. The Common Shares issued to PAO are subject to a statutory hold period of four (4) months plus one (1) day. The transactions contemplated under the Agreement remain subject to TSX Venture Exchange ("TSX-V") approval.
Binh Vu, CEO of Alberta Oilsands commented "We are extremely pleased to take this first step in rejuvenating AOS with a dual focus that will include new international initiatives, and the existing domestic assets."
"The East African Rift System has been a bright spot for discovery and investor enthusiasm, and this is one area where AOS intends to create a critical mass position in a cost effective manner, providing shareholders with leverage and optionality to the continued and growing exploration and development success in the energy basins in this region."
"We hope to be able to quickly build on our position in Lake Tanganyika, and in the East African Rift System, as well as other areas which meet the Company's stated criteria."
Clearwater Application Update
AOS has restructured its key consultants comprised of engineering, geological, solvent specialist and stakeholder specialist personnel in order to consolidate costs, and effect a turnkey solution in the critical push to permit Clearwater in a time and cost effective manner.
The Company has retained Petrospec Engineering Ltd. ("Petrospec"), to spearhead and project manage the Company's Clearwater West SLP-SAGD application with the ERCB and Alberta Environment.
Mr. Chalifoux, Petrospec principal, has 25 years' experience in the oil & gas industry and is a recognized expert in cold and thermal heavy oil recovery technologies and associated completions, production and operations engineering as well as conventional gas production technologies. He has developed and delivered heavy oil and artificial lift courses to oil company technical staff on a consultancy basis. Mr. Chalifoux earned a BSc in petroleum engineering from the University of Alberta in 1989. Over its fifteen year history, Petrospec has emerged as a leader in reservoir monitoring and thermal recovery optimization, having worked with virtually every exploration and production company active in the cold and thermal heavy oil in Canada.
The Company's technical team has made progress in respect of optimizing the process design to operate at lower pressures and are near completion with the full operating life simulations and steam containment analysis. The primary purpose of these simulations is to confirm steam containment and verify corresponding recovery process performance. AOS is pleased to report that these efforts are progressing and the Company will be reporting to the ERCB shortly.
The Company continues to evaluate all strategic alternatives with respect to its oil sands portfolio, and is also conducting a preliminary development study with associated production profiles and cumulative produced oil forecast on its recently delineated Grand Rapids lease.
Conventional Assets Update
As previously announced on August 14, 2012, AOS is seeking a buyer for the Company's conventional oil and natural gas assets, in order to streamline its focus and eliminate overhead.
The Company is in active discussions with potential management candidates that possess the background and experience to provide the leadership needed to guide international activities, as well as candidates with the relevant depth to guide domestic activities.
It is anticipated that appointments would be made between now and the end of Q1 2013.
In light of the Company having entered into the Agreement with PAO, the Company has been informed that it will be unable to close its previously-announced rights offering without an extension, as required under applicable securities legislation. As a result, the Company sought to extend the offering, but was unable to obtain TSX-V approval for an extension of the Rights offering. As a consequence, all rights issued pursuant to the offering will expire today and the Company is unable to issue any shares or warrants in respect of the rights that were exercised. All payments made to the Company in respect of the exercise of rights under the offering will be returned to the subscribing shareholders.
A majority of the monies expended by the Company on the various paperwork associated with the rights offering would have been necessary if/when AOS chose to potentially do a prospectus based financing in the future. These costs will now not have to be duplicated.
Website and Email Signup
The Company intends to communicate more frequently with shareholders over the coming months, and as its transformation continues.
AOS will be revamping its website in the coming days, however in the interim, please visit us at http://www.aboilsands.ca to view the new corporate presentation including information on our first African acquisition, as well as to subscribe to the Email list to be informed of news as it is released.
About Alberta Oilsands Inc.
The Company is actively engaged in the exploration and development of its bitumen leases in the fairway of the Athabasca oil sands region of northeast Alberta. AOS is also evaluating a number of opportunities domestically and internationally. The common shares of AOS are traded on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol AOS. For more information, go to http://www.aboilsands.ca.