Athabasca Oil Corporation Announces Initial 2014 Capital Budget

CALGARY, Dec. 17, 2013 /CNW/ - Athabasca Oil Corporation (TSX: ATH) 
("Athabasca" or "the Company") announces its initial 2014 capital budget. 
Athabasca's board of directors approved a capital budget of $460 million, 
comprised of $348 million for Thermal Oil, $106 million for Light Oil and the 
remainder for Corporate activities, excluding capitalized general and 
administrative costs and interest. 
Athabasca is committed to capital discipline. The Company has undertaken a 
comprehensive review of its exploration and development priorities with a view 
to balancing capital expenditures with funding. Accordingly, the completion of 
Hangingstone Project 1 and Duvernay drilling and completion are the focus of 
the Company's 2014 budget. 
Athabasca's growth strategy is to develop its considerable resources with 
joint venture partners. The Company seeks to put in place such partnerships in 
both its Light Oil and Thermal Oil assets. Athabasca looks forward to 
receiving government approval for the Dover Commercial Project, at which time 
it has the opportunity to exercise a $1.32 billion put option with PetroChina. 
Athabasca will review its capital spending program as any of the 
aforementioned events transpire. Athabasca will not sanction any new projects 
until funding is secured. 
The 2014 capital budget is presented in the table below. The primary 
components of the budget consist of: 


    --  Hangingstone Project 1: $225 million;
    --  Hangingstone Regional Infrastructure and Production Support:
        $58 million;
    --  Hangingstone Expansion: $45 million for regional activities and
        to advance the regulatory approval;
    --  Duvernay: $76 million, includes the drilling of two wells and
        the completion and tie-in of four wells;
    --  Light Oil Other: $30 million for Montney which includes capital
        for the recently announced two well program and general costs
        primarily made up of lease rentals, production optimization and
        certain facilities capital.

Athabasca Oil Corporation Initial 2014 Capital Budget

Project/Activity                                     

Thermal Oil Division                       $      348

  Hangingstone Project 1 ((1))                    225

  Hangingstone regional infrastructure and

  production support                               58

  Hangingstone Expansion                           45

  Other                                            20

Light Oil Division ((2))                   $      106

  Duvernay                                         76

  Montney                                          13

  Other                                            17

Corporate                                           6

Total                                      $      460

(1)     Approximately $30 million carryover from 2013

(2)     Approximately $20 million carryover from 2013





The Company continues to build its organization to effectively execute its 
light oil development strategy. Athabasca announces a new Vice-President, 
Light Oil, Kevin Smith reporting directly to the Chief Operating Officer, Rob 
Broen. Kevin has 25 years of experience leading large resource plays in the 
United States and Western Canada including Horn River, Montney and the 
Duvernay.

The Company's average production expected during the first quarter of 2014 is 
in the range of 6,000 to 6,500 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d).

With a continued focus on liquidity, Athabasca has taken a number of steps to 
enhance its capacity to meet current commitments. On December 16, 2013 
Athabasca exercised its option to sell a 50% interest in the Kaybob area light 
oil infrastructure to a third-party for cash consideration of $145 million. 
Closing of this transaction is anticipated in the first quarter of 2014.

Athabasca retains a 50% interest in its light oil pipeline and other 
infrastructure assets in the Kaybob area and remains operator of both the 
Kaybob and Simonette infrastructure assets. The Company has the pipeline 
capacity needed for the next several years of light oil production growth. 
This sale is not expected to impact the formal Duvernay joint venture process 
launched by Athabasca in the third quarter of 2013. Interest in the Duvernay 
asset is strong and the Company expects the process to conclude in 2014.

On December 16, 2013, the Company entered into an amended and restated credit 
agreement with a syndicate of financial institutions to replace its existing 
$200 million credit facilities. The credit facilities, totaling $350 million, 
consists of $200 million which is available on a revolving basis until 
December 31, 2014 and which may be extended for 364 day revolving periods, and 
a $150 million credit facility which has a maturity date of December 31, 2014. 
The debt to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization 
(EBITDA) covenant has also been extended and will not take effect until 
December 31, 2014. The principal amount of the additional $150 million credit 
facility will be reduced to $100 million on August 1, 2014 and to $50 million 
on November 1, 2014, if the facility has not been previously repaid and 
cancelled.

"We will only undertake new project commitments when we have the necessary 
funding to complete them," says Sveinung Svarte, President and CEO. "This 2014 
budget focuses on successfully completing Hangingstone Project 1 to 
demonstrate that it can reach production of 12,000 bbl/d. We are also excited 
about our continued Duvernay drilling and completion program designed to 
unlock the potential that exists on our vast land position."

All figures are in Canadian dollars.

Conference Call and Webcast, December 17, 2013 7:30 am Mountain Time (9:30 am 
Eastern Time)

A conference call to discuss the 2014 capital budget will be held for the 
investment community and media on December 17, 2013 at 7:30 a.m. MT (9:30 a.m. 
ET). To participate, please dial 1-888-231-8191 (toll-free in North America) 
or 1-647-427-7450 approximately 15 minutes prior to the conference call. An 
archived recording of the call will be available from approximately 12:30 p.m. 
ET on December 17, 2013 until midnight on December 31, 2013 by dialing 
1-855-859-2056 (toll-free in North America) or 1-416-849-0833 and entering 
conference password 99376454.

An audio webcast of the conference call will also be available via Athabasca's 
website, www.atha.com or via the following URL: 
http://www.newswire.ca/en/webcast/detail/1257307/1385773.

About Athabasca Oil Corporation

Athabasca Oil Corporation is a dynamic, Canadian energy company with a diverse 
portfolio of thermal and light oil assets. Situated in Alberta's Western 
Canadian Sedimentary Basin, the Company has amassed a significant land base of 
extensive, high quality resources. With 10.6 billion barrels of bitumen 
resources (contingent resources, best estimate) and growing light oil 
production, Athabasca is positioned to become a major oil producer. 
Athabasca's common shares trade on the TSX under the symbol "ATH". For more 
information, visit www.atha.com.

Reader Advisory:

This News Release contains forward-looking information that involves various 
risks, uncertainties and other factors. All information other than statements 
of historical fact is forward-looking information. The use of any of the words 
"anticipate," "plan," "continue", "estimate", "expect", "may", "will", 
"should", "believe", "predict", "pursue" and "potential" and similar 
expressions are intended to identify forward-looking information. The 
forward-looking information is not historical fact, but rather is based on the 
Company's current plans, objectives, goals, strategies, estimates, assumptions 
and projections about the Company's industry, business and future financial 
strategies and results. This information involves known and unknown risks, 
uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or events to 
differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking information. 
No assurance can be given that these expectations will prove to be correct and 
such forward-looking information included in this News Release should not be 
unduly relied upon. This information speaks only as of the date of this News 
Release. In particular, this News Release may contain forward-looking 
information pertaining to the following: the Company's ability to secure 
funding for its projects; estimated average production rates for the first 
quarter of 2014 and long term production goals; the anticipated timing of the 
completion of the regulatory process in respect of the Hangingstone Expansion; 
the timing of the construction of the facilities and infrastructure related to 
the Hangingstone Project 1; the Company's capital expenditure programs; 
expected timing of first steam into Hangingstone Project 1; the anticipated 
production capacity of the Hangingstone Project 1; the expected timing of the 
receipt of regulatory approval for the Dover oil sands project, the exercise 
of the Dover Put Option and the receipt of sale proceeds from the sale of the 
Company's Dover interests; the estimated quantity of the Company's Contingent 
Resources; the Company's drilling plans, in particular, with respect to the 
Duvernay and Montney formations; the Company's plans for, and results of, 
exploration and development activities; the Company's estimated future 
commitments; the Company's business and financing plans; the Company's 
business and financing strategies, including its plans to develop its 
resources with joint venture partners, the expected effects that the sale of 
the Company's light oil infrastructure will have on the Company's light oil 
joint venture process; the Company's anticipated pipeline capacity 
requirements; the timing of the submission of project regulatory applications; 
the timing for receipt of regulatory approvals; the sanctioning of projects; 
the use of in-situ recovery methods such as SAGD and TAGD for production of 
recoverable bitumen; and Athabasca's plans with respect to the Thermal Oil and 
Light Oil assets and the expected benefits to be received by Athabasca from 
such assets.

With respect to forward-looking information contained in this News Release, 
assumptions have been made regarding, among other things: the Company's 
ability to successfully complete a joint venture; the Company's ability to 
obtain financing on acceptable terms; future capital expenditures to be made 
by the Company; future sources of funding for the Company's capital programs; 
the Company's future debt levels; geological and engineering estimates in 
respect of the Company's reserves and resources; the geography of the areas in 
which the Company is conducting exploration and development activities; the 
impact that the agreements relating to the PetroChina transaction (the 
"PetroChina Transaction Agreements") will have on the Company, including on 
the Company's financial condition and results of operations; the impact that 
the sale of the Company's light oil infrastructure will have on the Company, 
including on the Company's light oil joint venture process; the regulatory 
framework governing royalties, taxes and environmental matters in the 
jurisdictions in which the Company conducts and will conduct its business; and 
the applicability of technologies for the recovery and production of the 
Company's reserves and resources. The Company has also assumed that the 
appeal by the Fort McKay First Nation that is described in the press release 
that was issued by Athabasca on October 18, 2013, will not have an impact upon 
the timing of the regulatory review/approval process in respect of the Dover 
oil sands project.

Actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in this 
forward-looking information as a result of the risk factors set forth in the 
Company's most recent Annual Information Form filed on March 28, 2013 ("AIF"), 
available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com, including, but not limited to: 
fluctuations in market prices for crude oil, natural gas and bitumen blend; 
general economic, market and business conditions; dependence on Phoenix as the 
joint venture participant in the Dover oil sands project; Aboriginal claims; 
failure to satisfy certain conditions in connection with the Company's debt 
and credit facilities; variations in foreign exchange and interest rates; 
factors affecting potential profitability; factors affecting funding, 
including the development of new business opportunities, the availability of 
financing, risks arising from future joint venture activities; risks that 
joint venture arrangements will not perform as expected; the priorities of the 
Company and of its current and future joint venture partners; general economic 
conditions, uncertainties inherent in estimating quantities of reserves and 
resources; Athabasca's status and stage of development; uncertainties inherent 
in SAGD; the potential impact of the exercise of the Dover put/call options on 
the Company; failure to receive regulatory approval for the Dover oil sands 
project and, Hangingstone Expansion project when anticipated or at all; 
failure to obtain other regulatory approvals, if any, for the completion of 
the Dover put/call option transaction on the terms and conditions set forth in 
the Put/Call Option Agreement; failure to meet development schedules and 
potential cost overruns; increases in operating costs making projects 
uneconomic; the effect of diluent and natural gas supply constraints; the 
potential for adverse consequences in the event that the Company defaults 
under certain of the PetroChina Transaction Agreements; failure to retain key 
personnel; the substantial capital requirements of the Company's projects; the 
need to obtain regulatory approvals and maintain compliance with regulatory 
requirements; extent of, and cost of compliance with, government laws and 
regulations and the effect of changes in such laws and regulations from time 
to time; changes to royalty regimes; political risks; risks inherent in the 
Company's operations, including those related to exploration, development and 
production of oil sands, crude oil and natural gas reserves and resources, 
including the production of oil sands reserves and resources using SAGD and 
the production of crude oil and natural gas using multi-stage fracture and 
other stimulation technologies; the potential for management estimates and 
assumptions to be inaccurate; long-term reliance on third parties; reliance on 
third party infrastructure for project facilities; failure by counterparties 
(including without limitation Phoenix) to comply with the terms of contractual 
arrangements between the Company and such counterparties; the potential lack 
of available drilling equipment and limitations on access to the Company's 
assets; claims made in respect of the Company's operations, properties or 
assets; the potential for adverse consequences as a result of the change of 
control provisions in the PetroChina Transaction Agreements; competition for, 
among other things, capital and export pipeline; the failure of the Company or 
the holder of certain licenses or leases to meet specific requirements of such 
licenses or leases; and volatility in the market price of the common shares. 
In addition, information and statements in this News Release relating to 
"resources" are deemed to be forward-looking information, as they involve the 
implied assessment, based on certain estimates and assumptions, that the 
resources described exist in the quantities predicted or estimated, and that 
the resources described can be profitably produced in the future. The 
assumptions relating to the Company's reserves and resources are contained in 
the reports of GLJ Petroleum Consultants Ltd. ("GLJ" or the "GLJ Report") and 
DeGolyer and MacNaughton Canada Limited (the "D&M Report") each dated 
effective December 31, 2012.

The forward-looking information included in this News Release is expressly 
qualified by this cautionary statement and is made as of the date of this News 
Release. The Company does not undertake any obligation to publicly update or 
revise any forward-looking information except as required by applicable 
securities laws.

Oil and Gas Information:

"BOEs" may be misleading, particularly if used in isolation. A BOE 
conversion ratio of six thousand cubic feet of natural gas to one barrel of 
oil equivalent (6 Mcf: 1 bbl) is based on an energy equivalency conversion 
method primarily applicable at the burner tip and does not represent a value 
equivalency at the wellhead. As the value ratio between natural gas and crude 
oil based on the current prices of natural gas and crude oil is significantly 
different from the energy equivalency of 6:1, utilizing a conversion on a 6:1 
basis may be misleading as an indication of value.



SOURCE  Athabasca Oil Corporation 
Media and Financial Community Andre De Leebeeck Vice President, Investor 
Relations and External Communications 1-403-817-8048 
adeleebeeck@atha.com 
Financial Community Tracy Robinson Manager, Investor Relations 
1-403-532-7446 trobinson@atha.com   
To view this news release in HTML formatting, please use the following URL: 
http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/December2013/17/c5034.html 
CO: Athabasca Oil Corporation
ST: Alberta
NI: OIL CONF  
-0- Dec/17/2013 11:00 GMT