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Story by Reuters

Cenovus Energy Inc, Canada’s second-largest independent oil producer, has hired bankers to explore a sale or initial public offering of its royalty lands in Western Canada, a company spokesman told Reuters.

Cenovus has hired Toronto-Dominion Bank to advise on the process, spokesman Brett Harris said.

The royalty lands could fetch between C$1.5 billion to C$2 billion, according to Raymond James analyst Christopher Cox.

The royalty lands are located across Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, according to Bloomberg.

Cenovus said in February it expects to cut about 15 percent of its workforce as it slows development of oil sands and conventional oil projects to cope with weak global crude prices.

Cenovus’ stock closed up 2 percent at C$23.44 on Thursday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Up to Thursday’s close, the company’s stock has declined 27 percent since June, versus a 45 percent drop in Brent prices.