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Nov 1, 2018

Encana's CEO probably isn't moving back to Calgary anytime soon

Encana shares dive on Newfield takeover deal


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The CEO of Calgary-based Encana Corp. (ECA.TO) is at no risk of losing his Texas accent.

With the US$5.5 billion purchase of Texas-based Newfield Exploration Co., Doug Suttles says he envisions a “headquarterless” company. That transformation may have actually begun in March when he moved house to Denver.

Ever since taking the reign five years ago, Texas-bred Suttles, 58, has nudged the Canadian oil and gas producer’s focus southward. The Newfield deal announced on Thursday may mark the culmination of previous acquisitions of Freeport-McMoRan’s Eagle Ford shale assets and Permian driller Athlon Energy Inc.

On a conference call Thursday, Suttles described Encana’s “headquarterless model.” As an example, he noted that Newfield’s Oklahoma assets will be overseen from offices in the Houston area.

“The work happens where the people are,” said Suttles, who, prior to joining Encana, was known as the public face of BP Plc in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon disaster.