Chevron Corp will give up its status as operator of the planned Hebron oil project off the coast of Newfoundland to partner Exxon Mobil Corp, a Chevron spokesman said on Friday.
Chevron will hand over control of the C$5 billion to C$7 billion ($4.8 billion to $6.7 billion) oil project after Hebron's management committee votes to approve the deal, according to spokesman Leif Sollid. No date has been set for the vote.
"It will be in as timely a manner as possible," he said.
Exxon, the biggest U.S. oil company, is the largest shareholder in the project, with a 36.04 percent interest. Chevron has a 26.63 percent stake.
The switch comes just days after the Hebron partners reached a deal with the Newfoundland government on fiscal terms for the development, which could produce oil in eight or 10 years.
Hebron, discovered in 1981, contains between 400 million and 700 million barrels of oil and will be the fourth major oil development off Newfoundland, joining the Hibernia, Terra Nova and White Rose projects. All are in the Jeanne d'Arc Basin, in the Atlantic Ocean, about 350 km (220 miles) southeast of the Newfoundland capital of St. John's.
The other Hebron partners are Petro-Canada, with a 22.73 percent interest, and StatoilHydro with 9.7 percent.
The Newfoundland government will hold a 4.9 percent share.