Cenovus marine team working to extend our reach to new markets
An oil tanker docks at Kinder Morgan’s Westridge Marine Terminal in Burnaby, B.C.
February 2016 – It might seem a little unusual for a landlocked oil and natural gas company to be building a marine team. It makes perfect sense to us, though, as we work to strengthen and broaden our customer base internationally, where we can typically receive a higher price for our oil and create more value for our shareholders and all Canadians.
To help us achieve success as we expand this aspect of our business, we dove into the international shipping talent pool. That’s where Claus Thornberg comes in. Claus was hired as Vice-President, Marine in May 2015, bringing with him a wealth of marine industry experience, including being a ship’s captain and the chief executive officer of a Scandinavian-based marine tanker company.
At Cenovus, he’s accountable for leading the development and execution of our marine strategy – from managing the logistics of marine commercial agreements to ensuring regulatory and safety standards are met by the ship providers we hire to transport our oil by water. Having an in-house marine team with the ability to direct charter oil tankers should allow us to quickly take advantage of marine shipping opportunities. It also gives us more control over the safe transport of our oil because Cenovus staff will work with outside experts to conduct thorough vessel and operator assessments. In addition to helping us identify the safest operators, it should position us to choose more fuel-efficient vessels, lowering our costs and carbon footprint. Over time, we expect to take on more complex ship chartering arrangements and look for additional marine opportunities to increase the value of our oil.
“Like everything else at Cenovus, moving oil by ocean tanker must be done safely and responsibly,” says Claus. “I know that we can achieve this and make marine transportation of oil to international markets an important part of our overall market access strategy.”
We’ll be conducting marine work from our recently opened Houston office to help develop our presence in overseas markets. We believe this will diminish the risks we face as a company by diversifying our customer base and reducing our dependence on the U.S. The Houston office will be booking all of our marine activities including those off the coast of British Columbia, where we now move 11,500 barrels of oil per day through the Trans Mountain pipeline system’s Burnaby terminal. As new pipelines are approved, we’re looking forward to the opportunities that should be created by having increased access to world markets through Canada’s east and west coasts.
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