Imperial to Market World War II-Era Oil Field in Canada’s North

(Bloomberg) -- Imperial Oil Ltd. is looking for a buyer for its historic Norman Wells operations in Canada’s far north as the producer focuses on its larger business farther south.

The producer, majority owned by Exxon Mobil Corp., plans to market the 11,000-barrel-a-day oil field this quarter, the company said in a statement Friday. The assets also include a fuel distribution center, Imperial said, without providing further details.

Imperial began drilling for oil in Norman Wells, a town about 100 miles south of the Arctic Circle in Canada’s Northwest Territories, in 1920, followed later by a refinery which supplied military operations in Alaska and the Yukon with fuel during the Second World War. Decades later, the company expanded production and connected the field to markets in the U.S. with a pipeline to Alberta.

In recent years, Imperial has sold off legacy assets as it expanded its oil sands business in Alberta . The company in 2013 converted its almost century-old Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, refinery into a terminal after failing to find a buyer.

About a quarter of a billion barrels of oil have been extracted from the Norman Wells field, according to the company.