Calgary, Alberta-based EnCana Corp. plans to divide itself in two, creating a pure-play natural gas company and an integrated oil company with oilsands properties and refineries.
The natural gas company will focus on EnCana’s unconventional natural gas resource plays in the western U.S., Alberta and British Columbia. Chief Executive Randy Eresman will run that company.
The oil company will center on EnCana’s oilsands operations and U.S. refineries. Brian Ferguson, EnCana’s current chief financial officer, will be in charge.
The split is expected to be completed by early next year. EnCana shareholders will get one share in each new company for every EnCana share they hold. Combined dividends of the two companies should be equivalent to the current $1.60 per share dividend.
Investors cheered the news and drove Encana shares to a new high of $93.65. Shares priced at $92.31, up $6.38 or 7.4 percent, in afternoon trading.