Cenovus Energy

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Cenovus Energy Inc.
Traded as TSXCVE
S&P/TSX 60 component
Industry Oil and Natural Gas
Founded 2009
Headquarters Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Key people
Alex Pourbaix (CEO),
Patrick D. Daniel (Board Chair)
Products Oil, Natural Gas
Revenue $17.3 billion CAD (2017)[1]
Number of employees
~3,500 (2016)
Website Cenovus.com

Cenovus Energy Inc. (pronounced se-nō-vus) is an integrated oil company headquartered in Calgary, Alberta.

Cenovus was formed on December 1, 2009 when Encana Corporation split into two distinct companies,[2] with Cenovus becoming a focused integrated oil company. Some of Cenovus’s assets formerly belonged to PanCanadian Energy Corp. and Alberta Energy Company (AEC), the two Canadian oil and gas companies that merged to form Encana in 2002.

In March 2017, Cenovus reached an agreement to purchase ConocoPhillips’ 50% share of their FCCL oil sands projects, as well as most of their Deep Basin conventional assets in Alberta and British Columbia.[3][4] That deal closed on May 17, 2017.[5]

In June 2017, CEO Brian Ferguson announced his intention to retire.[6] He was replaced on November 6, 2017 by Alex Pourbaix.[7]

Cenovus is known for being a responsible developer of Canada’s oil sands, with an emphasis on innovation, safety and environmental stewardship.[8] The company’s business strategy focuses on creating value through the development its oil sands assets, achieving predictable, reliable performance and maintaining financial resilience.[9] Cenovus shares trade on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges under the symbol CVE.


Oil sands[edit]

Cenovus has two producing projects in the Alberta oil sands – Foster Creek and Christina Lake (Alberta). On May 17, 2017, Foster Creek and Christina Lake became 100 percent owned and operated by Cenovus.[5]

Conventional oil and gas[edit]

Cenovus once held conventional oil and natural gas operations across Alberta and Saskatchewan, including the Weyburn oilfield in Saskatchewan, which is the largest CO2 enhanced oil recovery operation in Canada. It’s also the site of the largest geological greenhouse gas storage project in the world, with about 30 million tonnes of CO2 safely stored underground[10] and extensively studied by researchers as part of the International Energy Agency Greenhouse Gas Weyburn-Midale CO2 Monitoring and Storage Project.[11]

In May 2017, Cenovus assumed ownership of ConocoPhillips’ Deep Basin assets in Alberta and British Columbia.[5] This liquids-rich acquisition includes more than 3 million net acres of land. Subsequently, the Company announced the sale of its Pelican Lake[12] and Suffield[13] properties (September 2017), its southeastern Alberta oil and natural gas operations (October 2017),[14] and its Weyburn property[15] (November 2017).


Cenovus has 50 percent ownership in two refineries in the United States: the Wood River Refinery (Illinois) and Borger, Texas refinery. Phillips 66 is the co-owner and operator.[16]

Natural gas processing[edit]

Part of the Deep Basin acquisition included natural-gas processing facilities, many of which are now majority owned and operated by Cenovus. The plants process produced natural gas to make it pipeline-ready.


Cenovus owns a crude-by-rail loading facility near Edmonton, Alberta – the Bruderheim Energy Terminal. The company was recognized for its rail safety performance in 2016,[17] and for safe transportation of chemical products in 2017.[18]


The primary technology Cenovus uses at its Foster Creek and Christina Lake projects is called steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD). Cenovus also applies different associated technologies to enhance the SAGD process, such as electric submersible pumps at Foster Creek and solvent aided process (SAP) at Christina Lake.

In 2011, the company began applying its blowdown boiler technology to improve the efficiency of water use at its oil sands operations.[19] In 2013, Cenovus developed its SkyStrat™ drilling rig that allows an exploratory rig to be flown into remote areas by helicopter piece-by-piece, set up to drill a test well, dismantled and airlifted away. The process requires no roads, meaning little disturbance to the boreal forest.[20] The company received an Environmental Performance award for the SkyStrat™ program.[21]


Cenovus has been recognized for its efforts in environmental stewardship.[22] The company continues to work at improving its environmental performance for air,[23] land[24] and water.[25] Cenovus is focusing on reducing its impact on wildlife habitats particularly to help protect declining woodland caribou.[26]

Cenovus is a member of Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA).


Employees, suppliers, contractors and consultants are required to understand and work by the company’s policies and practices.[27] There’s a strong emphasis on the importance of safe driving. Cenovus is an alcohol- and drug-free workplace.

Community investment[edit]

Cenovus is an Imagine Canada Caring company.[28] This means the company gives one percent of its pre-tax profits to charitable or non-profit organizations. Since 2009, the company has also invested $1.8 billion on goods and services supplied by Aboriginal businesses near its operations.[29]

Worker housing[edit]

Cenovus provides housing for staff and other contract workers, commonly known as "camps", who work at their Christina Lake and Foster Creek projects and other locations in northern Alberta.[30] A few of the bigger camps house up to 800 people when operations are at peak capacity. The camps employ housekeeping, kitchen, janitorial and technical support staff, as well as electricians and paramedics who work and live for a short time on-site as part of a shift rotation.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ https://www.cenovus.com/invest/docs/2018/Q4-2017-Consolidated-Financial-Statements.pdf
  2. ^ EnCana proceeds with plan to split into two distinct and independent energy companies Encana
  3. ^ "Cenovus to buy ConocoPhillips' Canadian assets for a massive $17.7 billion". Financial Post. 29 March 2017. Retrieved 11 September 2017. 
  4. ^ Cenovus to double production and reserves in Canada
  5. ^ a b c Cenovus completes acquisition of assets in Western Canada from ConocoPhillips
  6. ^ Cenovus President & Chief Executive Officer Brian Ferguson to retire retire
  7. ^ Cenovus appoints Alex Pourbaix as new President & CEO
  8. ^ Cenovus recognized as a leader in corporate responsibility
  9. ^ 3 Things Cenovus Energy Inc. Wants Investors to Know
  10. ^ "Canada 150: From early oil wealth to global GHG reduction tech enabler, Saskatchewan's Weyburn-Midale oilfield just keeps giving", JWN, 28 June 2017, retrieved 31 August 2017 
  11. ^ Weyburn-Midale published by Petroleum Technology Research Centre
  12. ^ "Cenovus selling Pelican Lake operations to Canadian Natural for $975M". CBC. 5 September 2017. Retrieved 11 September 2017. 
  13. ^ "Cenovus reaches agreement to sell Suffield assets for more than half a billion dollars". September 25, 2017. Retrieved December 15, 2017. 
  14. ^ "Cenovus selling southeast Alberta assets to Torxen for $1.3 billion". Calgary Herald. 19 October 2017. Retrieved 19 October 2017. 
  15. ^ "Cenovus reaches agreement to sell interest in Weyburn asset for $940 million". November 13, 2017. Retrieved December 15, 2017. 
  16. ^ Refining Marketing Phillips 66
  17. ^ "Rail". Cenovus Energy. Retrieved December 15, 2017. 
  18. ^ "Union Pacific Spotlights Safe Chemical Transportation". Union Pacific Railroad. June 26, 2017. Retrieved December 15, 2017. 
  19. ^ Technologies lower in situ bitumen recovery costs
  20. ^ Flying drilling rig
  21. ^ "Celebrating industry initiative", Financial Post, 22 April 2013, retrieved 2 May 2016 
  22. ^ Cenovus recognized as a leader in corporate responsibility
  23. ^ Cenovus corporate responsibility report – air
  24. ^ Cenovus corporate responsibility report – land
  25. ^ Cenovus corporate responsibility report – water
  26. ^ Caribou habitat restoration
  27. ^ Cenovus contractor policies and practices
  28. ^ Imagine Canada Caring Company program
  29. ^ Cenovus corporate responsibility report – Aboriginal relations
  30. ^ Oilsands camps weathering lower oil prices, report finds Archived July 3, 2015, at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]