Talisman Energy mulls partners for Canadian shale fields
* May look for partners in B.C. shale fields * Shares rise 0.6 pct CALGARY, Alberta, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Talisman Energy Inc said on Tuesday it may seek partners for its Canadian shale-gas holdings as Canada's No.6 oil and gas producer continues a restructuring focused on boosting its lagging shares. The company may look for a another partner willing to help it develop an estimated 30 trillion cubic feet of natural gas contained in its Montney shale-gas properties in northeastern British Columbia. The Montney is one of a handful of massive shale-gas fields in northern British Columbia that have attracted international interest from companies looking to export the gas through a handful of liquefied-natural gas (LNG) facilities planned for the province's northern coast. The size of the resource and the costs of building infrastructure in the remote region have prompted a number of partnerships and acquisitions, including Chevron Corp's planned purchase of a half-stake in the plant Kitimat LNG facility planned by Apache Corp, along with a stake in a number of shale properties. "There's a lot of interest in the Montney from large players as they think about LNG-type opportunities," Scott Thomson, Talisman's chief financial officer, said in a presentation to a New York investment conference. "That may produce an opportunity for us to partner, in terms of getting into an LNG-type opportunity, to monetize certain aspects of our Montney position." Talisman is refocusing its sprawling international operations as investors press the company to improve its profitability. The company replaced its chief executive in September and has announced plans to chop capital spending and exit unprofitable exploration regions like Peru and Poland. Since replacing John Manzoni with board member and former TransCanada Corp chief executive Hal Kvisle, Talisman shares have dropped 18 percent against a 3.7 percent drop in the Toronto Stock Exchange's energy index. Thomson also said Talisman may also look for a partner for its Duvernay shale holdings in Alberta. Though the field remains lightly explored, PetroChina last month agreed to pay C$2.2 billion ($2.23 billion) for a 49.9 percent stake in Encana Corp's Duvernay holdings. "Our Duvernay position is actually similar to Encana's" he said. "... There's opportunities as we go through 2013 to think about partnering or monetization opportunities there." Talisman shares were up 8 Canadian cents to C$11.70 by early afternoon on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
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