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.

Obsidian Energy Continues to Thrive

Advancing a company’s performance or position means making changes. These changes are meant to transform and prepare the company for the new position or level that is anticipated. This is the same approach Penn West Petroleum Ltd used. Today this company is called Obsidian Energy. The overhaul was a success because the company later stabilized. It began performing better than before. The portfolio increased worth by adding valuable assets.

Having a good idea is one thing while implementing it is another. It is not always that people with good ideas are able to implement them successfully. David French is among the ones who were able to lead the company through the overhaul. He has been with the company since 2016 yet French has achieved a lot thus far. He appreciates whatever experience he got from his previous job. French has worked for a similar company to Obsidian Energy.


Although David is a good leader, he does not achieve daily success on his own. He has a team of qualified and experienced people. His employees are categorized in various groups and levels. This hierarchy is important in working towards the goals of the organization. David has competent managers and other leaders that he relies on to ensure daily operations are run smoothly. Obsidian Energy has a certain company culture that guides how people relate and work within the organization. This culture has helped to run things in the right direction. See Related Link to learn more.


Obsidian Energy understands that it cannot function without employees. Therefore, the company is mindful of employee welfare. It ensures they work in a favorable environment. Health and safety are priorities of the company. The oil business is also dynamic. Obsidian organizes events and opportunities for employees to learn. They can only be effective and competent if they are informed. Investing the employees has yielded good results because productivity has increased.

Obsidian Energy began on a strong note that got Stakeholders’ attention. This encouraging performance ought to be maintained. Changing the face of the company has brought a good outcome and the company is targeting higher heights. David French remains with a challenge of influencing his employees to perform better and continue growing every day. Obsidian Energy was at the apex of its success and was even among the sixty most prominent firms in the Toronto stock Exchange and was also a Canadian Royalty Trust (CANROY).


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