[NORTH AMERICA] EnCana splitting into two companies

Canadian oil and gas giant EnCana Corp. said Sunday it's splitting into two companies, but operations in Colorado are likely to remain "business as usual," a Denver-based spokesman said Monday.

EnCana is based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Its U.S. division is based in Denver.

"It's driven by shareholder value," said Doug Hock, spokesman for Denver's EnCana Oil & Gas (USA) Inc. "It shouldn't affect our operations at all. It's business as usual in terms of exploring for and producing natural gas."

EnCana is one of Colorado's largest natural gas producers, with operations in the rich Piceance Basin on Colorado's Western Slope and north of Denver in the Denver-Julesburg Basin.

The parent company announced Sunday that the board of directors had unanimously approved a proposal to split EnCana into two energy companies -- one a natural gas company with assets in Canada and the United States, and the second a fully integrated oil company focused on producing oil from oilsands in Canada and running refineries in a joint venture with ConocoPhillips in Texas and Illinois.

The natural gas company is expected to retain the EnCana name, while the oil company will operate under a new name, tentatively called "IntegratedOilCo." or IOCo.

The natural gas company represents about two-thirds of EnCana's current production and proved reserves.

Shares of EnCana rose in early trading Monday in response to the news.

Source: Denver Business Journal | By Cathy Proctor Denver

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