On January 3, 2018, Calgary-based Obsidian Energy (formerly PennWest Petroleum Ltd.) announced its addition of a new board member, long-time shareholder in the company, Ed Kernaghan. The news was announced by the board’s chairman, George Brookman, who commented, “We are happy to have Ed Kernaghan join our Board. Mr. Kernaghan brings broad financial and capital markets experience and represents a material ownership stake through Kernwood Limited and members of his family. Mr. Kernaghan’s addition is part of our ongoing commitment to ensure the right mix of skills and experience needed to steward our existing strategy.”
Ed Kernaghan’s work history makes it clear that he will be a great addition to the Obsidian board. For almost two decades, he has worked in the field of financial services. In 2001, he founded Kernaghan Securities with Ted Kernaghan, his father. For several years, he served as the Executive Vice President of this company. Currently, he works as a partner at Kernaghan & Partners Ltd., a full-service brokerage firm. Mr. Kernaghan is also currently the President of Kernwood Limited, a principle investment firm based in Toronto. He also serves on various other boards listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, making him a great resource of knowledge and experience for the Obsidian board.
Mr. Kernaghan’s education is as diverse as his business portfolio, boasting a Bachelor of Science degree from Queens University, complete with honors, to a Master of Science degree in theoretical physics from the University of Toronto. In a press release covering his addition to the board, he commented, “As a long-term shareholder, I am excited for what the future holds as Obsidian Energy executes its business plan and am eager to support and advise on Management and the Board’s current strategy. I look forward to joining the team.”
Currently, the Obsidian board of directors includes a diverse group of businesspeople, including George Brookman, who owns one of the largest digital printing companies in Canada, geologist William Friley, accountant Raymond Crossley, and Maureen Jackson, who is Dean of Medicine at Calgary University, to name a few. This dynamic group is the driving force behind this powerful and growing energy company.
Obsidian Energy Ltd. currently has oil and gas wells throughout western Canada, and in 2017, production was at an average of 31,000 bbl (barrel equivalents) per day. Now that Ed Kernaghan has been appointed to the board, he will be an important part of the exciting year Obsidian has ahead. In an interview with the Toronto Stock Exchange, Obsidian President and CEO, David French, discussed the company’s future ventures. In this interview, he mentions the name change from PennWest Petroleum to Obsidian Energy, which took place in June of 2017, was the result of changes that have been building for several years. He also states the newly named Obsidian is excited about what 2018 and the future will bring. He mentions the company’s complete ‘top – to – bottom overhaul,’ which includes decreasing the number of operating areas from 30 to 3.
President French also discussed picking very dedicated people to carry out the company’s individual development plans, as well as the overhaul of how the company operates and how they allocate capital. He explains that all of these efforts have led to the development of “a gas company we can be proud of.” As a new member of the board, Ed Kernaghan will play an important role in these important changes.
Founded over 30 years ago (though with a different name), Obsidian Energy has now become the largest energy company in the area, securing more acreage than the second and third largest companies combined. The company owns assets in three areas in Calgary: the Peace River oil sands, the Alberta Viking River region, and, perhaps most notably, the Pembina Cardium formation. President French refers to this Cardium ownership as “the jewel of the company” because it gives them such a great advantage over their competitors in the area. He predicts that this will be a source of income for many years to come.
Some of the other exciting things happening at Obsidian involve their increasing stability in the face of volatile gas markets, with only a 19% corporate decline in recent years. The Cardium component of the business is expected to fund many new projects and businesses, which will result in more company expansion. Obsidian is also able to offer solid investment opportunities and is ready to take on 2018 aggressively and efficiently.
At Obsidian Energy, the past is a proud legacy, and the future is bright with possibilities. The company is founded on the efforts of hard working experts with diverse backgrounds and new and exciting sources of energy and income. This is, without a doubt, an exciting time for the newly appointed Mr. Ed Kernaghan and all his colleagues at Obsidian Energy.