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Canadian oil company Cenovus Energy Inc (CVE - Snapshot Report) has entered into a deal to divest its Shaunavon tight oil asset in southern Saskatchewan.  Surge Energy Inc. – another Canadian energy explorer – will purchase the asset for C$240 million in cash. The deal is likely to close by mid July, subject to certain usual closing conditions.

As of May 2013, Shaunavon assets comprised 54 sections of land and its production was approximately 3,600 barrels of oil per day. Following a portfolio appraisal, Cenovus earmarked its Bakken and Shaunavon assets for sale and started marketing them earlier in February. While the Bakken properties remain on the block, management at Cenovus decided to offload its Saskatchewan interest.

Headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, Cenovus is an integrated oil company with ownership interest in two high-quality refineries in Illinois and Texas. Cenovus’ operations include growing their oil projects and natural gas and crude oil production in Alberta and Saskatchewan. The company has four top-quality enhanced oil projects, namely, Foster Creek, Christina Lake, Pelican Lake and Weyburn.

Cenovus enjoys the benefits of industry-leading oil sands assets that position it for long-term growth. We believe the company will remain focused on improving its operational efficiency initiatives throughout 2013.

However, Cenovus reported weaker-than-expected first quarter 2013 results due to lower crude oil price realizations. Earnings per share came in at 44 cents, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 47 cents.

Cenovus currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), implying that it is expected to perform in line with the broader U.S. equity market over the next one to three months.

Meanwhile, in the energy sector, three firms expected to significantly outperform the broader U.S. equity market over the next one to three months are InterOil Corp. (IOC - Snapshot Report), Atlas Energy LP (ATLS - Snapshot Report) and Oiltanking Partners LP (OILT - Snapshot Report). All three firms sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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