The Successful Turn Around of Obsidian Energy

Obsidian Energy is a Canadian mid-sized public company that deals with the production of oil and natural gas. Based in Calgary, Alberta, Obsidian Energy owns and operates gas and oil fields throughout the Western Canada. The company shares do trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Currently, the company CEO and President is David L. French and David Hendry as the CFO.




Obsidian Energy Ltd was founded in 1979 under the name Penn West Petroleum Ltd. Over the years the company registered considerable growth in the industry reaching a market capitalization of over $9 billion in 2008. Between 2005 and 2011, the company operated under the Canadian Royalty Trust (CANROY). Due to the fluctuation of crude oil prices, Penn West Petroleum did experience operational as well as financial difficulties in 2014. It was faced with enormous debt, deficit balance sheet, and lawsuits.




For the next two years, Obsidian Energy underwent a massive restructuring from the ground up. It did dispose its assets to pay off some debts and were able to reduce it to $384 million from $4 billion. Further, they reduced its workforce from 1400 to 300. Also, they did cut the compensation paid to the board members and suspended payment of dividend to the shareholders. Consequently, they reduced their oil production from 135,000 barrels per day to 28,000.


After the restructuring, the company emerged stronger, learner, focused on its growth as well as excited about its future. On June this year, the shareholders approved changing of its name from Penn West Petroleum to Obsidian Energy. Speaking after the name change, the CEO, David French said that the company was opening a new chapter. He stated that, Obsidian is be guided by three principles namely “disciplined technical and commercial decision-making, relentless pursuit of progress and innovation, transparency and accountability to all stakeholders.”


With the new philosophy, Obsidian Energy has now crafted and streamlined its assets on the right platform. The current leadership and management, as well as the entire employees’ fraternity, are now working as a team to achieve the stated objectives. Their resolute commitment will surely drive Obsidian Energy back to the financial position they were before the unfortunate crisis.



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