Billionaire Koch brothers dump Canada’s oilsands leases as foreign exodus continues – by Geoffrey Morgan (Financial Post – August 15, 2019)

CALGARY – Once among the largest landholders in the oilsands, industrial conglomerate Koch Industries Inc. has sold off its upstream leases and abandoned licences in the heavy oil play, joining a stream of foreign companies exiting the bitumen-bearing formation.

Wichita, Kan.-based Koch Industries struck an agreement to sell thousands of hectares of land in the oilsands to Calgary-based Cavalier Energy Inc., a subsidiary of the Riddell family-controlled Paramount Resources Ltd., in a transaction that occurred in June, the Financial Post has confirmed.

Koch, one of the world’s largest private companies owned by American billionaires and Republican donors Charles and David Koch, has also abandoned the licences it did not sell in the transaction with Paramount and has been allowing its leases in the play to expire.

Paramount, meanwhile, expands its holdings in the oilsands, which already includes ownership in Cavalier and a stake in steam-based oilsands producer MEG Energy Corp. Founded by late billionaire geologist Clay Riddell, Paramount built a reputation for exploring oil and gas resources in new plays and in untapped corners of existing plays.

In 2002, his son Jim Riddell became president and COO of Paramount and has amassed more and more responsibility over the company and its subsidiaries. He’s now president and CEO of Paramount and executive chairman of Cavalier.

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