Gordon Ritchie has worked for over 37 years in the financial services industry. He recently retired as Vice Chairman of the Royal Bank of Canada Capital Markets. His other extensive experience and qualifications include regulatory credentials from Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. He spent two years on the New York Advisory Committee to the New York Stock Exchange Board of Directors. He’s still on the boards of two other publicly held companies. Ritchie spent six years as President and C.E.O. of the Royal Bank of Canada Dominion Securities Corporation in New York. He served as Co-Head of RBC’s International Corporate Finance Group, in London, England. Obsidian Energy’s acting Chairman of the Board, George Brookman, expressed his appreciation for Ritchie agreeing to serve the recently reorganized company.
Until June 2017, the company was named Penn West Petroleum Ltd. It is a medium-sized oil and natural gas production company based in Alberta, Calgary Canada. Its portfolio of wells produces 30,000 Barrel of Oil Equivalent daily. David L. French, who joined in October 2016. continues to serve as the company’s President and CEO. Obsidian says it plans to grow modestly in the next three years, depending on growth in energy prices.
Previously, Obsidian Energy had taken on unsustainable levels of debt. That was almost $3 billion at the end of 2013. However, in 2014 the price of oil and natural gas fell, and it could no longer maintain its debt load. By the end of March 2017, it was down to $384 million. Aside from changing the name to Obsidian Energy, the company reduced the debt by selling off assets, so it is smaller, but far less dangerously leveraged. From 2005 through 2011, the company was structured as a Canadian Royalty Trust or CANROY. And it was once one of the S&P/TSX 60, a list of the 60 largest companies in Canada. However, a change in Canadian law forced it to restructure into a corporation. Read This Article to learn more about the company.
Obsidian operates oil and gas fields in Alberta, part of the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin. That’s one of the largest fields of oil in the world. Obsidian owns assets in the Pembina Cardium, the Peace River and the Alberta Viking.