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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for October delivery lost 45 cents to $57.40 on the New York Merc, while Brent for November lost 21 cents to $62.38 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $12.13 to WTI, down from a discount of $11.96. Natural gas for October lost one cent to $2.58. The TSX energy index added 3.02 points to close at 134.11.
Cross-border shale producer EnCana Corp. (ECA) reached an intraday high of $6.38 before reversing course and closing at $6.17, down three cents, on 16.7 million shares. It has made some changes at the top. Most notably, it has promoted executive vice-president and chief operating officer Mike McAllister to the role of president. The current president and chief executive officer, Doug Suttles, will remain CEO.
Mr. McAllister, an engineer by background, joined EnCana about 20 years ago and quickly made his mark with a geological gamble in the Western Canadian foothills. Long-time investors will recall that in the early 2000s, the prospects for Western Canadian energy were thought to be waning, until a massive gas play in northeastern British Columbia reignited excitement all over the province. It was known as Cutbank Ridge. In September, 2003, bids in this play drove a record monthly land sale for B.C. (surpassing even Alberta's record, at the time). One bidder swept up nearly all of the parcels. Its identity was kept secret at first, but soon it emerged that EnCana, and particularly Mr. McAllister as vice-president of the B.C. division, had placed a large bet on Cutbank Ridge, following months of analyzing data from exploration wells. All of this ultimately led to a multibillion-dollar Cutbank Ridge joint venture with Mitsubishi. More generally, Mr. McAllister is viewed as instrumental in developing EnCana's overall position in the Alberta/B.C. Montney, now one of its core plays.
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