Penn West CEO David Roberts to be succeeded by former Bankers chief executive

CALGARY – Penn West Petroleum Ltd. (TSX:PWT) has named David French of Bankers Petroleum to be its new president and chief executive officer and a member of its board of directors in the coming weeks.

French has been Bankers’ president and CEO since he joined the company in 2013. His appointment at Penn West becomes effective Oct. 24.

He will succeed David Roberts, who has been Penn West’s president and CEO since June 2013.

Roberts said he will leave Penn West with a “sensible balance sheet” and good growth assets.

In May, the company warned it was facing the possibility of defaulting on its debt by the end of June.

In June, the company closed the sale of all its assets in Saskatchewan for $975 million cash. Penn West ended the second quarter with $374 million of excess cash, which would be used to reduce outstanding debt.

Penn West shares recently hit a 52-week high of $2.50 but the stock’s value has plunged over the past five years, from about $11 per share in mid-2013 — prior to a prolonged collapse in global oil prices that began in late 2014.