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Illustration of Canoe Financial founder and oil patch investor Bruce Chernoff. (ANTHONY JENKINS/THE GLOBE AND MAIL)
Illustration of Canoe Financial founder and oil patch investor Bruce Chernoff. (ANTHONY JENKINS/THE GLOBE AND MAIL)

THE LUNCH

Bruce Chernoff: The comeback kid of the oil patch Add to ...

He agrees the energy market is a head-scratcher, with no signs of a clear route ahead. On the surface, every investment seems fair game, he says, because technology has unlocked once-dormant fields. But after the supply revolution spawned by hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, the market is cautiously stepping back a bit.

Shale energy has changed everything on the supply side, but he sees steep decline rates in production from wells using multiple fracturing methods. “We frack these wells but within a year they go from 1,000 barrels a day to 100 or less,” he says. “I think there will be a little pause for thought, as the industry asks whether it can get a proper return on its investment.”

After the debacle of 2008-2009, he is a more patient investor now, and believes there is still plenty of turmoil ahead in oil and gas. Opportunities should present themselves to an investor like him, who is “not afraid to get into something messy.” It doesn’t have to be clean and it may require some creativity.”

But before he makes a big move, Mr. Chernoff still relies on the credo that has served him well – there needs to be blood in the streets.

CURRICULUM VITAE

Personal

Born in Calgary; 47 years old.

Earned a bachelor of science in chemical engineering at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont.

He and wife Dina have three children aged 11, 10 and 8.

Leisure time

Skis, windsurfs, curls; competes in rodeo roping competitions.

Favourite excursion: Competing in World Series of Team Roping, during national rodeo finals in Las Vegas.

Owns Stump Lake Ranch and Cattle Co. in B.C.’s Nicola Valley. Roughly 60,000 acres of deeded and leased land, with 800 head of cattle.

Land touches on storied Douglas Lake Ranch, a 500,000-acre behemoth once owned by the retailing Woodward family and, later, disgraced telecom boss Bernie Ebbers. Now property of Stan Kroenke, who owns the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche.

Networks

Heads personal investment company Caribou Capital Corp.

Among his investments

Canoe Financial, which he founded, and Maxim Power, where he is chairman.

Director of Torc Oil & Gas Ltd., Broadview Energy Ltd., Calmena Energy Services, Westbrick Energy Ltd.

Philanthropy

Quiet donor in areas from theatre to education. He and father Michael contributed to Chernoff Hall, home to Queen’s University’s department of chemistry since 2002.

Parents Michael and Dorine established the Chernoff Family Awards to assist students – often from remote areas of Canada – to attend Queen's.

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