Heavy oil producer BlackPearl Resources in $715 million sale to International Petroleum Corp.

BlackPearl Resources CEO John Festival will join the board of directors of International Petroleum Corporation. Image: Todd Korol/JWN

Vancouver-based International Petroleum Corp. is expanding its presence in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin with the purchase of junior heavy oil and oilsands producer BlackPearl Resources.

It’s not the first major corporate sale for BlackPearl CEO John Festival, who previously founded junior oilsands company BlackRock Ventures, which was sold to Shell for $2.4 billion in 2006.

IPC launched in 2017 with oil and gas assets in Europe and Southeast Asia. It entered the WCSB market officially in January 2018 with the close of its purchase of Cenovus Energy’s natural gas assets at Suffield and Alderson, Alta.

BlackPearl operates a 12,000 bbl/d thermal heavy oil project at Onion Lake, Saskatchewan, as well the long-running Blackrod SAGD pilot in the Alberta oilsands. The company also holds regulatory approval for an 80,000 bbl/d commercial project at Blackrod.

The stock and debt transaction is valued at approximately $715 million, according to analysts with Peters & Co. Limited.

“Ultimately, we believe this is a good deal for shareholders as it puts the asset in the hands of a larger entity that could push forward with the next phases of development at Onion Lake and Blackrod,” Peters & Co. said in a research note on Wednesday.