Chronology: Total’s moves in Canada’s oil sands

(BestGrowthStock) – Total S.A. (TOTF.PA: ) formed a Canadian oil sands production and upgrading alliance with Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO: ) on Friday that sees France’s biggest oil company pay C$1.75 billion ($1.73 billion) for a larger interest in the planned Fort Hills oil sands mining project and a 49 percent share of Suncor’s C$11.6 billion Voyageur oil sands upgrader while it surrenders a minority stake in its Joslyn oil sands project.

The deal is part of Total’s plan to spend $20 billion to increase its production from the oil sands of northern Alberta, the world’s largest crude oil reserve outside the Middle East. Here’s a look at the company’s investments so far.

January, 2003 – Total takes a 43.5 percent stake in the Surmont thermal oil sands project planned by ConocoPhillips (COP.N: ) after agreeing in 1999 to participate in the project’s testing phase.

August, 2005 – Total makes a C$1.1 billion friendly bid to acquire Deer Creek Energy Ltd, developer of the Joslyn project, which has bitumen, or extra-heavy crude, reserves pegged at more than 2 billion recoverable barrels.

To fend off a rival offer, Total eventually raises its offer to C$1.6 billion.

April 2008 – Total bids C$480 million to acquire troubled Synenco Energy Inc, owner of the Northern Lights oil sands project. Synenco shareholders balk at the price, and Total raises the bid to C$541 million in July. The acquisition is complete a month later.

January 2009 – Total makes an attempt to take over UTS Energy Corp, a part owner of the Fort Hills project, with a hostile offer valuing the small oil sands developer at C$617 million. UTS and its shareholders consider the bid opportunistic since it comes when oil prices are at recent lows.

Total raises its original bid of C$1.30 a share to C$1.75 in April but UTS shareholders still refuse to back the deal. Total lets the offer expire in April 2009.

April 2009 – Sinopec Corp (0386.HK: ) , which holds 40 percent stake in the mothballed Northern Lights development, buys 10 percent more from Total, making the two companies equal partners in the project.

January 2010 – Total and ConocoPhillips decide to expand the Surmont oil sand project, announcing plans to quadruple output to 110,000 barrels per day by 2015, one of the first expansions announced since the financial crisis began in late 2008.

July 2010 – Total has another go at UTS, announcing a friendly C$1.4 billion deal to buy the company, which doubles its earlier offer.

Total gets 20 percent of Suncor’s planned Fort Hills oil sands mine while UTS kept some undeveloped properties that were spun off into a new company. UTS shareholders overwhelmingly approved the sale in September.

($1=$1.01 Canadian)

(Reporting by Scott Haggett; editing by Peter Galloway)

Chronology: Total’s moves in Canada’s oil sands