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No. 5. Randy Eresman, president and CEO of Encana, addresses shareholders at the company's annual general meeting in Calgary, Alberta, April 20, 2011. Mr. Eresman has a pension of $21,708,490.TODD KOROL/Reuters

One could argue the struggles at Encana Corp. are all Randy Eresman's fault. The retiring chief executive officer was a big bull on natural gas and famously promised in 2010 to double production over five years.

You could also argue that Encana was wrong to spin off its crude business into Cenovus in late 2009, stripping the company of its much more balanced mix between oil and natural gas.

But laying all that blame wouldn't be entirely fair. The world's changed, and Encana isn't the only natural gas producer caught in the current storm. Just look at Apache Corp. In November the energy giant took a $539-million (U.S.) write down on its Canadian properties because of rough natural gas prices.

What's transpiring in the market is a double whammy of bad news that's been hard for any producer to skirt. A supply glut stemming from tapping new gas pockets, coupled with warm winters in North America, aren't exactly Encana's doing. And while the company could have kept more of its exposure to crude, investors are well aware they've been more or less betting on a pure play natural gas producer since 2009.

But that's not to say Mr. Eresman is blameless. Increasing Encana's natural gas exposure was his doing, and his timing was ultimately off. He has to pay the price.

However, he isn't leaving the company in dire shape. Yes, it's losing money. And yes, this winter isn't looking like it will be very cold. But Encana's in decent financial standing to weather the storm; what matters now is how long the storm persists.

At year end, after all its 2012 asset divestitures, Encana had about $3-billion in cash. The company should also get another billion or so on top of that from the recent PetroChina joint venture.

On top of that, more than half of Encana's natural gas production in the coming year is hedged at attractive rates. Halfway through 2012 the company hoped prices would rebound, so it was reticent to hedge too much, but it smartly changed its opinion heading into the fall and now over 50 per cent of its gas production is hedged at $4.40 per million cubic feet.

Without these hedges, the troubling outlook could have been a nightmare. In the first nine months of 2012, average market natural gas prices were $2.62 per mcf. Encana's hedges raised its realized prices to $4.75 per mcf.