ConocoPhillips spends $154M to expand drilling rights for oil and gas formation near Alberta-B.C. border

This Feb. 9, 2016, file photo shows an ice-covered ConocoPhillips sign at the Colville-Delta 5, or as it's more commonly known, CD5, drilling site on Alaska's North Slope. ConocoPhillips reports financial results Thursday, April 28, 2016. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen, File)

Houston-based ConocoPhillips Co. says it is selling oil and gas assets in the United States while increasing its stake in Western Canada.

The company that sold most of its Canadian oilsands and conventional drilling operations to Cenovus Energy Inc. last year says it recently closed or signed deals to sell C$320 million in non-core assets in the U.S., including several packages in the Permian Basin of Texas.

READ MORE: Cenovus posts second quarter profit amid ConocoPhillips deal

It says it spent C$154 million to add 14,000 hectares to its existing 56,000 hectares of drilling rights prospective for the Montney, a tight oil and gas formation found near the border between Alberta and B.C.

It says it also bought almost 100,000 hectares in the U.S., most in the Austin Chalk play in central Louisiana, without giving a price.

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Calgary-based Cenovus spent $17.7 billion a year ago to buy ConocoPhillips’ half-share in its steam-driven oilsands projects in northern Alberta as well as conventional natural gas properties in northeastern B.C. and northwestern Alberta. After the deal closed, ConocoPhillips said it would lay off 300 staff in Calgary.

READ MORE: ConocoPhillips cutting 300 jobs mainly in Calgary

Watch below: On May 4, 2017, Jill Croteau filed this report after nearly 300 people at ConocoPhillips lost their jobs.

Click to play video 'Laid off ConocoPhillips workers struggle as they wait for economic rebound' Laid off ConocoPhillips workers struggle as they wait for economic rebound
Laid off ConocoPhillips workers struggle as they wait for economic rebound – May 4, 2017

Matt Fox, executive vice-president of strategy for the Houston company, says lands acquired in Louisiana and Canada will add to its inventory of low-cost growth opportunities without requiring immediate investment.