TransCanada veteran Alex Pourbaix to lead Cenovus

Canadian oil producer Cenovus Energy (TSX, NYSE:CVE) has named industry veteran Alex Pourbaix chief executive officer, effective Nov. 6.

Pourbaix replaces Brian Ferguson, who announced his retirement earlier this year following Cenovus’ $17.7 billion acquisition of oil sands and Deep Basin assets from ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP).

Pourbaix, who worked at TransCanada Corp for 27 years, most recently held the role of chief operating officer at Canada’s second-largest pipeline operator.

Cenovus, which is in the midst of selling up to $5-billion worth of holdings to pay for the assets it bought from ConocoPhillips, has been one of the very few companies to revive deferred projects in the oil sands sector, following a recovery in crude prices.

Last year, the Calgary-based company resumed the expansion of its Christina Lake oil sands project, in northeast Alberta. Two more projects under review, known as Narrows Lake A and Foster Creek H, could add 75,000 barrels per day of new capacity in coming years.