What does a volcanic rock have to do with oil and natural gas? Not much really, but enough to inspire the name of a major Canadian oil company. Founded in 1979, Obsidian Energy has experienced several changes along the way with the most obvious being the recent name change from Penn West Petroleum in June 2017.


Obsidian Energy was founded in the Western Canadian province, Alberta to explore and produce oil in the oil-rich western sedimentary basins in Canada. It stemmed from the merging of several smaller oil companies to form Penn West Petroleum limited. The company grew asset wise as a consequence of purchasing oil and gas properties. The growth by itself was an effect of purchasing other smaller oil companies.


Arising from the need of a larger company with a higher operating status the company later acquired nearly all of BP Amoco’s Canadian shares. This plus several other purchases grew the company’s production harbor by more than twice its initial size.


More acquisition would follow in the years to come, and by 2002, Obsidian Energy, the then Penn West Petroleum was the dominant oil producer in central Alberta. This grew the company’s confidence and developed an upsurge in the desire for growth and diversity as seen by the company’s interest in coalbed methane in that same year.


In May 2005, Obsidian Energy completed restructuring from a corporation into an income trust, a change that had been proposed by the board of directors nine months before. The conversion to an income trust meant that the company would dispense its earning to the unitholders prior to paying tax. This witnessed major part of the company’s cash flow rechanneled from reinvestment to payment of dividends to the unitholders.


High growth potential and the restructuring enchanted investors to the company followed. More investors meant more financial might, and with might came the acquisition of shares in Midale oil pools and four other oil properties in the three years that followed. Go To This Page to learn more.


The company experienced another major change in 2011 when a federal requirement forced income trusts to revert back into corporations. A year later a shift in focus would see Penn West Petroleum major on light oil resources.


A name change, and nearly seven years later, with David L. French as CEO, Obsidian is well adapted to the industry.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *