Former Suncor CEO Rick George Hunts Again in Canada’s Oil Patch

Rick George, the former chief executive officer of Suncor Energy Inc., is seeking to raise as much as C$400 million ($391 million) for investment in Canadian oil-sands companies and other onshore producers.

“The stuff we’re looking at now is entrepreneurial,” George, the founder of Calgary-based Novo Investment Group Ltd., said in an interview today in New York. “It’s in some ways a lot of fun at looking at things that are possible.”

George, 62, was CEO of Suncor, Canada’s largest energy company, for 21 years until his retirement in May. While CEO, George led Suncor through Canada’s biggest energy takeover, the C$19.3 billion acquisition of Petro-Canada in 2009. He formed Novo Investment with former Suncor Executive Vice President Jay Thornton last year.

In the new venture, George is interested in Canadian companies that have the technology to address challenges facing oil and natural gas producers. Over the next decade, that may include more effective horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, better solvents to extract bitumen from oil sands, improved pumps and driver-less trucks at project sites, he said.

“The key for this industry generally but particularly in Canada, is technology,” George said. “Not one technology, but technology across a broad spectrum.”