Canada’s largest oil lobby group will soon have a new board chair, the latest in a series of leadership changes at the organization as it grapples with a period of significant upheaval in the global energy sector.
It was announced Wednesday that Paul Myers, the president of Canbriam Energy Inc. and a 35-year oil and gas veteran, will take the reins as chair of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) board on Jan. 1.
He replaces Craig Bryksa, the president and chief executive officer of Crescent Point Energy Corp. CPG-T, who has led CAPP through what the organization called “a unique two-year tenure during a time of leadership change and organizational transformation.”
The association’s current CEO, Lisa Baiton, stepped into the role in May, 2022, after the departure of long-time boss Tim McMillan, who stepped down after seven years at the helm.
Ms. Baiton let go three senior CAPP executives a month later. Soon afterward, in her first public statement, she said she wanted industry and governments to work together more closely to lower greenhouse-gas emissions, tackle regulatory hurdles and attract investment to help shore up global energy security.
In an interview at the World Petroleum Congress in Calgary in September, Ms. Baiton said CAPP was rebuilding its internal research and data capabilities to get back to its roots as a research-based advocacy organization.
Part of that effort has seen it partner with analysis firm S&P Global and Arc Financial, Canada’s largest energy-focused private equity manager, to rebuild data products for the fossil-fuel sector that CAPP used to make available to members.
Those partnerships have also helped CAPP “inform a thoughtful policy discussion” and bolster the input it has had with Alberta and Ottawa on various policies, including a looming oil and gas emissions cap, Ms. Baiton said.
“We’ve been able to leverage that data in really credible conversations with federal and provincial governments,” she said.
“It’s a journey, but we’ve come a long way in a year.”
For years, CAPP was the loudest lobbying voice for Canada’s oil and gas producers. These days, however, it jostles for position with the Pathways Alliance, a group of Alberta’s largest oil sands producers that has pledged to bring emissions from production to net zero by 2050.
Ms. Baiton told The Globe and Mail that the two groups have a “very collaborative relationship,” which includes information sharing.
“We support one another, but they’re driving the bus on the oil sands side and I drive the bus on the conventional and oil and gas side,” she said.
Under other CAPP leadership changes announced Wednesday, the vice-chair role also switched, effective immediately. It is now filled by Jon McKenzie, president and CEO of Cenovus Energy Inc. He takes over from Jeff Tonken, the CEO and board chair of Birchcliff Energy Ltd.
Mr. McKenzie has been at Cenovus since 2018 and was an integral part of that company’s 2021 acquisition of Husky Energy.
CAPP said the changes were a planned transition. In a statement Wednesday, Ms. Baiton called Mr. Myers and Mr. McKenzie “paragons in the Canadian energy industry.”
Ms. Baiton said the two men will bring strong strategic advice, operational know-how and corporate governance to the organization. “Canada, and the world, are at a unique crossroad when it comes to the conversation around energy security, affordability and the climate.”