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An EnCana pump jack stands near Rockyford, Alberta, in this June 30, 2009 file photo. Canada's largest natural gas producer, said on November 5, 2013 it will cut about 20 percent of its workforce, slash its dividend, and focus future spending on just five regions rich in oil and gas liquids as it looks to move away from low-value natural gas production.
An EnCana pump jack stands near Rockyford, Alberta, in this June 30, 2009 file photo. Canada's largest natural gas producer, said on November 5, 2013 it will cut about 20 percent of its workforce, slash its dividend, and focus future spending on just five regions rich in oil and gas liquids as it looks to move away from low-value natural gas production.
(Todd Korol/Reuters)

Who’s going to buy all these energy assets?

If only they had done this 18 months ago.

Struggling to turn themselves around, Encana Corp. and Penn West Petroleum Ltd. announced corporate overhauls and asset sales on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, serving up a one-two punch for the energy sector.

At first there were sighs of relief. Finally, they’re getting their fiscal houses in order. But once the reality set in, investors started to realize that the outlook is less rosy than it initially appeared. Penn West is looking to sell $2-billion worth of assets by 2015, while Encana wants to unload an undisclosed amount of natural gas assets because it intends to devote all of its resources to five key plays.