Encana embroiled in new morass as chairman launches probe into collusion accusations

Encana embroiled in new morass as chairman launches probe into collusion accusations by Claudia Cattaneo, June 25, 2012, Financial Post
The bad news keeps piling up for Encana Corp., the beleaguered Canadian energy icon that seems to be embroiled in a collusion plot to deflate land prices with one of its top rivals in the United States. … That Mr. O’Brien, a lawyer who is also the chairman of the Royal Bank of Canada and once ran Canadian Pacific Ltd., has stepped in suggests the matter is now in the hands of Encana’s board of directors and beyond the authority of CEO Randy Eresman and his team. … The emails imply that Mr. Eresman was aware of the discussions. One exchange on Oct. 20, 2010, involves an update from Mr. Wojahn to McClendon: “From what I understand (Encana’s) John Schopp has been leading the charge on working with your team on arranging a bidding strategy. I have a meeting with John planned on Friday and a review with Randy Monday,” referring to Mr. Eresman. Chesapeake even allegedly drew up a map showing how the two companies would divvy up the oil-prone parts of the play, so that each firm would end up with almost exactly 134,000 “oil acres.” In Monday’s statement, Encana says it “takes compliance with all laws very seriously and is committed to ethical business conduct in all that we do.”

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