Jim Letourneau's Blog

Investing, Technology, Travel, Geology, Music, Golf. I think that covers it.

Western Oil Sands - One of These Things is Not Like the Others

It can be a challenge to keep up with your investments sometimes. One day you own secure oil sands reserves in northern Alberta, the next you’re making deals with the Kurdistan regional government to explore in northern Iraq.

Whether there is any advantage to being an early explorer in “war torn” Iraq remains to be seen. Maybe the oil sands business got boring for Western Oil Sands’ (WTO.TO) entrepreneurial management team.  In spite of the small capital outlay relative to the size of Western Oil Sands, it does indicate a lack of management focus. Being blessed with some ADD tendencies myself, I can sense the excitement management has for this new project.

However, the long term investors who liked Western Oil Sands as a pure play now find themselves participating in far riskier endeavour. Significant value could be created by the opportunity but it’s analogous to putting Rancid on the same bill as Elton John. It causes confusion and upsets some of the audience.