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Nov 2, 2018

Encana founder slams Trudeau policies after US$5.5B Newfield deal

Former Encana CEO slams Trudeau after Newfield deal


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The founder of Encana Corp. (ECA.TO) says he’s saddened by the Calgary-based energy producer’s deal to buy Newfield Exploration Co., and puts the blame almost entirely on Justin Trudeau’s government. 

Encana announced Thursday it agreed to buy U.S. shale producer Newfield for US$5.5 billion, its largest-ever acquisition, which will expand the company’s oil-and-gas portfolio into the shale fields in Oklahoma, the Bakken region of North Dakota and the Uinta play in Utah. 

“I’m deeply saddened that, as a result of the disastrous policies of the Trudeau government, what was once the largest Canadian-headquartered energy producer now sees both its CEO and the core of its asset base located in the U.S.,” Gwyn Morgan, who served as CEO of Encana from 2002 to 2005, said in an emailed statement to BNN Bloomberg.

Morgan’s comments come as Encana’s current chief executive officer Doug Suttles said Thursday he now envisions Encana operating as a “headquarterless model,” with major offices in the Houston area and Denver overseeing its nearby businesses.

That direction marks a reversal of what Morgan’s own vision was when he first founded Encana, he said.

“As founding CEO, I gave the company the name EnCana to symbolize ‘Energy Canada,’ reflecting my life-long determination that Canada should have an energy company that stood among the world’s biggest and best,” Morgan said.

This is not the first time Morgan has criticized the Trudeau government on policies affecting the Canadian energy industry.

Earlier this year Morgan said Canada is “dithering” and becoming increasingly irrelevant in the global energy industry. He also warned that foreign investors are losing confidence in Canada’s ability to complete projects amid uncertainty over the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.

With files from Bloomberg