• Several assets in Western Canada being sold to various buyers
  • Canadian Natural Resources said to be one of the bidders

ConocoPhillips, the third-largest North American oil and gas producer, is nearing a deal to sell several Western Canadian assets to various buyers including Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., people with knowledge of the matter said.

An agreement could be reached as early as this week, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. A deal hasn’t been finalized and talks could still fall apart, the people said.

Production from the properties, located in Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan, represents about 20 percent of the Houston-based company’s Canadian volumes outside of oil sands.

The properties produce the equivalent of almost 35,000 barrels of oil and gas a day and include a net working interest in 2.4 million acres for future drilling, according to the marketing material for the assets, an area slightly larger than Yellowstone National Park. Based on that, the group of assets could be valued at $ 1 billion or more, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

A spokesman for ConocoPhillips declined to comment, as did a spokeswoman for Canadian Natural.

ConocoPhillips is among producers that have turned to asset sales to shore up their balance sheets and focus on core areas after oil prices plunged by more than half since last year’s highs.

Earlier this month, the company said it plans to reduce its workforce by about 10 percent, or 1,800 jobs.

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