PetroChina & Athabasca Oil Sands Corp. enter into Principles of Joint Venture Agreement

    CALGARY, Aug. 31 /CNW/ - Athabasca Oil Sands Corp. (AOSC) is pleased to
announce that, subject to certain customary approvals, it has entered into a
series of agreements with PetroChina International Investment Company Limited
(PetroChina International), a wholly-owned subsidiary of PetroChina Company
Limited (PetroChina), pursuant to which PetroChina will acquire a 60 per cent
working interest in AOSC's MacKay River and Dover oil sands projects for a
consideration of Cdn $1.9 billion. The agreements also provide for certain
financing arrangements for AOSC. The projects are located in the centre of the
Athabasca area in northeastern Alberta and have been independently assessed to
contain approximately five billion barrels of best case contingent bitumen
    "Oil sands projects are very capital-intensive long-term investments and
difficult to fully finance in the traditional equity market," said Bill
Gallacher, Chairman, AOSC. "AOSC therefore decided to look for joint venture
partners, and these strategic joint venture arrangements with PetroChina, one
of the world's largest energy companies, can ensure that the MacKay River and
Dover projects will be developed in timely manner, which is excellent news for
Alberta and the rest of Canada."
    He added that AOSC recently visited several of PetroChina's oil
facilities in northeastern China where PetroChina operates a number of
heavy-oil projects using sophisticated technologies, including various SAGD
processes and firefloods. "Their field developments, operational methods,
heavy-oil experience and research facilities are world class, and as a partner
they will bring these very valuable attributes to the MacKay River and Dover
projects in Alberta."
    As joint venture partners, AOSC and PetroChina International intend to
use common in-situ methods to develop their oil sands projects. AOSC has filed
regulatory applications for approval of two pilot projects within the project
areas with Alberta's Energy Resources Conservation Board and intends to file a
regulatory application for the first 35,000 bbl/d phase of the MacKay River
commercial project at the end of 2009.

    AOSC management will hold a conference call:

    - Monday, August 31, 2009
    - 1 - 2 pm MDT
    - North America Toll-free: 1-866-223-7781
    - Global Toll-free: 800-6578-9898
    - Call Reference: Athabasca Oil Sands Corp., Joint Venture Agreement

    About Athabasca Oil Sands Corp.

    Athabasca Oil Sands Corp. (AOSC) was incorporated under the laws
governing the Province of Alberta and is focused on the sustainable
development of oil sands resources in the Athabasca region of northeastern
Alberta, Canada. Please visit for more information about AOSC.

    Reader Advisory

    Certain information set forth in this press release contains
forward-looking statements that involve substantial known and unknown risks
and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements are subject to numerous
risks and uncertainties, most of which are beyond the control of AOSC,
including but not limited to, the impact of general economic conditions,
industry conditions, fluctuation of commodity prices, fluctuation of exchange
rates, environmental risks, industry competition, availability of qualified
personnel and management, timely and cost effective access to sufficient
capital from internal and external sources, regulatory changes and estimates
of resources, the impact of the transaction with PetroChina on AOSC and the
risk that the transaction is not completed. No assurance can be given that
these expectations will prove to be correct and such forward-looking
statements included in this release should not be unduly relied upon. Actual
result, performance or achievement could differ materially from those
expressed in or implied by these forward-looking statements. These statements
speak only as of the date of this release or as of the date specified in the
documents accompanying this release, as the case may be. AOSC undertakes no
obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements except
as expressly required by applicable securities law.

For further information:

For further information: Mandy Dinning, Hill and Knowlton, (403)

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