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Canadian Oil Sands names replacement for outgoing CEO Coutu

Canadian Oil Sands president and CEO Marcel Coutu is pictured at the company’s annual general meeting in 2010. The company announced his replacement on Dec. 9, 2013.


Canadian Oil Sands Ltd. has tapped insiders to fill the company's top two executive positions, with Ryan Kubik taking over as its chief executive in the new year.

Mr. Kubik, Canadian Oil Sands' current chief financial officer, will take over from Marcel Coutu on Jan. 1. Mr. Coutu's retirement was announced in July. Canadian Oil Sands said Rob Dawson, currently a vice-president of the company's finance department, will take over as CFO in the shuffle, according to a statement released Monday.

Canadian Oil Sands, which derives its revenue from its 36.74-per-cent stake in Syncrude Canada Ltd., said it plans to spend $1.1-billion in 2014. It expects the joint venture oil sands mining project to churn out 95 million to 110 million barrels of oil in 2014, with between 34.9 million and 40.4 million of those barrels going to Canadian Oil Sands.

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The Calgary-based company expects this to translate into revenue of $3.4-billion, based on West Texas Intermediate crude trading at an average of $90 (U.S.) per barrel and a discount for synthetic crude oil to WTI of $5 (Canadian) per barrel. Cash flow will hit $1.2-billion or $2.39 per share, the company expects, with operating expenses ringing in at $1.6-billion.

Canadian Oil Sands' 2014 spending plans and production expectations are lower than they were when the company rolled out its 2013 plans this time last year, when it budgeted $1.3-billion and predicted Syncrude would produce 105 million to 115 million barrels of oil in the year.

Syncrude's joint venture partners were disappointed in the project's operations in 2013, which were hampered most recently by mechanical troubles at a boiler and coker. Canadian Oil Sands cut its production expectations three times in 2013 because of these troubles. (Canadian Oil Sands' most recent prediction, issued in October, said Syncrude will spit out between 97 and 100 million barrels of oil in 2013). Imperial Oil Ltd., controlled by Exxon Mobil Corp., operates Syncrude.

Canadian Oil Sands said it hopes to apply for regulatory approval for its Mildred Lake mine extension project in 2014.

Mr. Coutu, the company's outgoing leader, served as president and CEO for the past 12 years. The board said it used an international executive search firm to find his replacement. Mr. Kubik has been with Canadian Oil Sands for 11 years.

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About the Author

Carrie Tait joined the Globe in January, 2011, mainly reporting on energy from the Calgary bureau. Previously, she spent six years working for the National Post in both Calgary and Toronto. She has a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Western Ontario and a bachelor’s degree in political studies from the University of Saskatchewan. More


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