Skip to main content

Cenovus president and CEO Alex Pourbaix speaks with reporters at the company's headquarters in Calgary, Alta., Nov. 15, 2017.Jeff McIntosh/The Globe and Mail

Cenovus Energy Inc. may consolidate its reduced work force under one roof next year as new chief executive officer Alex Pourbaix steps up cost-cutting efforts at the oil sands producer.

Calgary-based Cenovus is slated to move into the city's newly built Brookfield Place next year and may consolidate employees in the building, Royal Bank of Canada analyst Greg Pardy said in a note, citing meetings with Mr. Pourbaix.

Spokesman Reg Curren would not confirm the move but indicated Cenovus was actively subleasing space to other companies at its current location in Calgary's landmark Bow building, as well as in the Brookfield tower, in a bid to reduce costs.

Cenovus agreed to lease one million square feet in the 56-storey Brookfield tower in 2013, when oil prices topped $100 (U.S.) per barrel. Oil's collapse and deep cuts to staffing levels have left the company with a glut of unused space.

"We are looking to consolidate down to as few sites as possible given that our staffing requirements have changed due to the downturn in the industry," he said in an e-mail. "Our intent is to have our staff from related operations placed near to one another to enhance efficiency and collaboration."

The potential downsizing comes as Mr. Pourbaix seeks to restore investor confidence in the wake of the company's acquisition last year of oil sands and natural gas assets from ConocoPhillips Co., which was criticized for the high purchase price and the additional debt the company took on.

Last month, Cenovus said it was parting ways with three top executives, including chief financial officer Ivor Ruste, while also announcing layoffs of up to 700 staff, or 15 per cent of its overall head count.

The company has also slowed plans to develop lands in Alberta's Deep Basin and put some of the newly acquired properties in the region on the block, with proceeds aimed at repaying debt.

In December, Cenovus said it expects costs tied to rent and office expenses to increase by nearly 40 per cent this year, to $164-million (Canadian), due largely to leasing costs for precontracted office space at Brookfield.

Report an editorial error

Report a technical issue

Editorial code of conduct

Tickers mentioned in this story

Study and track financial data on any traded entity: click to open the full quote page. Data updated as of 29/05/24 2:13pm EDT.

SymbolName% changeLast
Cenovus Energy Inc
Cenovus Energy Inc
Royal Bank of Canada
Royal Bank of Canada

Interact with The Globe