Recent Changes at Obsidian Energy


Obsidian Energy is a medium-sized energy producer that is located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Formerly known as Penn West, the company underwent a complete restructuring and rebranding as a result of financial and legal issues that resulted from some managerial issues. Wishing to leave the problems of the past behind them, they rebranded as Obsidian Energy, voted in an entirely new board, and completely restructured the company to be forward-thinking and innovative, with fail safes in place to help avoid problems of the past becoming problems of the future.


Since the restructuring of the company, Obsidian Energy has made a huge comeback on the international energy market with a focus on innovation, technology, and streamlined management. In addition to these changes in the operational structure of the company, the board also made some big changes in terms of executive and shareholder compensation, as well as adding some new positions, including an auditor.


The rebranding and restructuring have been a success and Obsidian Energy has once again become a significant player in the medium energy market, well placed for the future with ownership of some of the largest remaining oil reserves in the world in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin. Access to these significant reserves coupled with advances in extraction and production put Obsidian in a really great position for the future.


As the board at Obsidian Energy looks back on 2017,  there were some significant changes and some sad losses. The passing of Chairman Rick George was a huge loss for the company and for the members who lost a friend and mentor. Upon his passing, George Brookman took up the position as an interim director and has managed his position with great skill and dignity, bringing his decades of experience in the oil and gas industry to the proverbial table as chairman.


Since August of 2017 Jay W. Thorton has served as the new Chairman of the Obsidian Energy Board of Directors. George Brookman, after serving as interim chair, will retain his position as a director on the company’s board. Thorton brings a ton of experience to the company, making him an incredibly valuable asset and welcome acquisition.


Thorton has almost 30 years of experience in the oil and gas industry. He has various board positions with some huge companies such as Shell Canada and Suncor Energy. Additionally, he is also the current director of Tervita Corporation and North American Energy Partners, Inc.


He graduated from McMaster University with a Honors degree in Economics and also completed the Institute of Corporate Directors Education Program, giving him a unique education and set of skills that makes him so perfectly suited to corporate management and oversight. He also previously served as a director on the board of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. All the members of the board were happy to bring Thorton on board and are excited for what he will bring to the proverbial table for Obsidian Energy in the future.


The board also welcomed Ed Kernaghan who, along with his family and their associated businesses, own some 33 million stocks in the company. His arrival as a member of the board will bring his wealth of investment and financial experience to the proverbial table, which is an invaluable skill and with his vested interest in the success of the company, his advice will be sound and incredibly helpful.


Obsidian Energy also has a significant new investor with FourFront Capital, an activist investment organization, having acquired some 27 million shares in the company, making it pretty likely that their influence will be part of the future vision of the company, leading a lot of people to speculate as to where this influence will take the company.


Along with new additions to the board are some positive predictions about the level of production capacity as well as expected prices for a barrel of oil, though the price element is definitely a lot less predictable than knowing how much new production capacity the addition of a new well will bring. Some predictions to show some small declines in the amount of production from certain wells and fields, but it is more than offset by the addition of new wells being brought online so that the overall result is a net increase in the number of barrels of oil that Obsidian Energy will be able to produce over the course of a year.


An end-of-year financial conference call also took place during which many things were discussed including provable assets, profit margins, changes in the price of energy, and more. They discussed the costs, and changes in the costs, of various elements and aspect the discovery, collection, acquisition, and distribution of this resource. Obsidian is providing open access to the call for anyone who is interested in learning more about the intricate details of the financial operations of the business.


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