The head of Devon Energy Corp.'s Canadian division is stepping down as the operation heads into its next phase following the sale of its conventional oil and gas assets in February.
Chris Seasons, who has been president of Devon Canada for the past decade, said he will leave the Oklahoma City-based company at the end of June. He will be replaced by Rob Dutton, who is now vice-president of capital projects.
Mr. Seasons, 54, said Devon's recent $3.1-billion asset sale to Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. was not the main reason behind his decision to retire from the company, which retained a number of heavy oil projects in Alberta.
"I've been asked that question a lot. We still have 100,000 barrels a day and 1,200 employees, and in five or six years' time, we'll be back up to 180,000 barrels a day of heavy oil. And it's not like there's a shortage of challenges ahead, particularly in the heavy oil space," he said in an interview.
"But from my perspective this was a good time to transition out, and get some younger talent in, which is healthy from a succession standpoint."
Devon Canada has five oil sands and heavy oil projects in Alberta, on which it plans to spend $1.1-billion (U.S.) this year. They include the 100-per-cent owned Jackfish development and the Pike joint venture with BP PLC.
Both Mr. Seasons and Devon Energy chief executive John Richels were executives at Calgary-based Northstar Energy, which Devon bought in the late 1990s.
He said he had no current plans for his next role after taking the summer off.
"I still love the business and I've still got a bunch of energy so I don't think I'm ready to hang them up," Mr. Seasons said.