Penn West Petroleum to Cut Jobs, Dividend as CEO Steps Down

Penn West Petroleum Ltd. (PWT), the third-worst performing Canadian oil and gas producer in the past year, said Murray Nunns will step down as chief executive officer as the company cuts costs and considers asset sales.

David Roberts, former chief operating officer of Marathon Oil Corp. (MRO), will replace Nunns on June 19, Calgary-based Penn West said late yesterday in a statement.

Penn West will seek to reduce expenses significantly, considering asset sales and financing alternatives as part of a review that should be completed by the end of the year, according to the statement. It plans to start cutting staff numbers by 10 percent in the next few weeks and will reduce its dividend for the third quarter to 14 cents a share from 27 cents a share.

“We will be looking for a huge step change in both where capital is spent as well as the efficiency of each dollar invested,” Chairman Rick George said in the statement.

Penn West kept its full-year production forecast unchanged. Nunns will retire on July 1 and also resign from the board of directors, according to the statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: James Paton in Sydney at jpaton4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Hobbs at ahobbs4@bloomberg.net

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