Organic, Forward Thinking

Corporate Profile

Velvet Energy Ltd. is a privately-held, full-cycle exploration and production company. Focused in the liquids-rich gas and light oil window of the Deep Basin of Alberta, the Company executes an organic growth business plan, including early land capture, technical evaluation, exploration and development of internally generated prospects. Headquartered in Calgary, Velvet has current production of approximately 31,000 boe per day (43% liquids) and a land position of over one million net acres spanning from its core liquids-rich Ellerslie development in the greater Edson area to Montney light oil development at Karr/Gold Creek and earlier phase Montney oil projects at Pouce and Flatrock, B.C.

From start-up in 2011, Velvet has realized a 5-year compound growth rate in production of 25%, with over 95% added via the drill bit. Velvet is differentiated by the geo-technical rigour it employs to generate organic growth and by its integrated risk management program that

looks to manage risk through the entire value chain, including an active and systematic commodity hedging program. Exploration is a key component of Velvet’s business plan and is viewed as crucial in expanding an inventory of opportunities and projects to achieve long term sustainable growth and to generate competitive full-cycle returns on investment.

Velvet’s management team has a proven track record of achieving consistent production, reserve and asset value growth in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin. The company is well-capitalized, having to-date raised $672 million of equity supported by its three private equity investors, including Warburg Pincus, 1901 and Trilantic Capital Partners and more recently, the addition of Canada Pension Plan Investment Board as a strategic equity partner.

Velvet Ethos

  • Pursue a dynamic business plan

  • Use commercial skill to competitive advantage

  • Our geotechnical rigor is an industry differentiator

  • Encourage and mentor independent thinking

  • Foster a culture of continuous learning

  • Attract and develop a highly committed, entrepreneurial and energetic staff

  • High liquids yields drive rate of return

Executive Biographies

Ken Woolner P.Eng.,

President & Chief Executive Officer and Director


Mr. Woolner is a professional engineer with over 28 years of oil and gas experience. Prior to starting Velvet Energy Ltd. in 2011, he served on the Board of Directors for both public and private oil and gas companies including Oban Energy Ltd. (Chairman), White Fire Energy Ltd. (Chairman), Sequoia Oil & Gas Trust (Trustee) and El Paso Oil & Gas Canada Inc. He led a team of Executives that built and sold three highly successfully companies including Velvet Exploration Ltd., Lightning Energy Ltd. and Veteran Resources Inc. Prior to that time, he held the position of Vice President at Morrison Petroleums Ltd. Mr. Woolner holds a Bachelor of Science in Geological Engineering from the University of Toronto and is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta.

George Gervais, P. Eng., MBA,

Executive Vice President


Mr. Gervais is a Professional Engineer with over 20 years of experience in the oil and gas industry. Prior to joining Velvet in 2015, Mr. Gervais was focused on the development of unconventional oil and gas resources as VP Exploitation at Lightstream Resources. Previous to this, Mr. Gervais held roles of increasing responsibility at ARC Resources culminating in the role of VP Business Development. Mr. Gervais has a MBA specializing in Global Energy from the University of Calgary and a Bachelor of Science in Geological Engineering from the University of Saskatchewan. He is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta.

J. Peter Henry, CPA, CA

Vice President, Finance


Mr. Henry is a Chartered Accountant with 28 years oil and gas experience. He co-founded Velvet and its predecessor company Oban Energy Ltd. in 2006 as Vice President & CFO and was part of a team that recapitalized Veteran Resources Inc., a TSX listed company. He also spent six years with Velvet Exploration Ltd. and its successor, El Paso Oil & Gas Canada, as CFO. Prior to that he was a senior officer with three other rapid growth TSE listed oil and gas companies. Mr. Henry holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of New Brunswick and is a member of the Alberta Institute of Chartered Accountants.

Jeremy Kwasnecha, P.Eng.,

Vice President, Operations


Mr. Kwasnecha joined the Velvet team in 2012. Mr. Kwasnecha has held various engineering positions in operations and development with Burlington Resources, ConocoPhillips, and PetroBakken. He started his career in the oil and gas business in 1999 as rig hand for Precision Drilling and has over 19 years of diversified oil and gas experience, the majority of which is in the Deep Basin of Alberta. Mr. Kwasnecha holds a Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Alberta as well as a Diploma in Petroleum Engineering Technology from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. He is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta

Geoff MacDonald, P.Geol.,

Vice President, Exploration


Mr. MacDonald began his career as a Petroleum Geologist in 1997, specializing in unconventional resource exploration since 2005. Prior to joining Velvet Energy, Mr. MacDonald held the title of Geologic Specialist with EOG Resources, coordinating the exploration of large-scale resource plays in several basins throughout onshore North America. Prior to EOG, Mr. MacDonald was employed in the Business Development group of Enerplus Corporation, and in various roles at Encana Corporation and PanCanadian Petroleum. Mr. MacDonald has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Geological Engineering from the University of Waterloo, and is a licensed Professional Geologist in the Province of Alberta.

Christopher Theal, CFA, MBA, CIM,

Chief Financial Officer


Mr. Theal is the Chief Financial Officer of Velvet Energy Ltd. Prior to joining Velvet in February 2015, Mr. Theal was the founder of Kootenay Capital Management Corp., which managed a long/short energy hedge fund. Previous to founding Kootenay in 2011, Mr. Theal was a top-ranked oil and gas analyst for thirteen years, heading the global oil & gas team as Global Coordinator, Oil & Gas Research, at Macquarie Securities. Mr. Theal was a founding Capital Markets partner, Head of Energy Research and member of the Executive Committee at Tristone Capital – a global energy investment boutique – prior to Macquarie acquiring Tristone in 2009. Prior thereto, Mr. Theal was an oil and gas analyst at CIBC World Markets. Mr. Theal is a CFA Charterholder and holds the CIM designation. He has a MBA in Finance, from the University of British Columbia, and an undergraduate degree in economics, with distinction, from Royal Roads Military College.


Vice President, Drilling & Completions


Mr. James joined Velvet in June 2014 as a Completions Engineer. In December 2017, he was promoted to Vice President, Drilling and Completions. He is responsible for overseeing all surface land, construction, drilling and completions operations, and plays a key role within the Velvet HS&E structure. Prior to starting at Velvet, Mr. James worked for Apache Canada Ltd. as a Completions Engineer in the prolific Liard and Horn River basins. From 2009 to 2012, Mr. James held a drilling and completions engineering role at Anderson Energy Inc. focused in the Cardium in West Central Alberta. Mr. James began his career in 2007 and has spent the vast majority of his time working in the Deep Basin/Foothills of Alberta, as well as in North East British Columbia. Mr. James holds a Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Alberta and is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta.

Board of Directors

John Brussa, Partner, Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer LLP

Vincent Chahley, Independent

Harvey Doerr, Independent

Roger Smith, Independent

Robert E. Hougie, 1901 Partners LP

David B. Krieger, Warburg Pincus

Christopher R. Manning, Trilantic Capital Partners

Deborah Stein, Independent

Jacob Strauss, Warburg Pincus

Kevin Godwin, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board

Ken Woolner, P.Eng, President & CEO


We’re always looking for talented people to join our team. At Velvet, we value our employees and recognize them as the driving force behind our success.


We are located in the downtown core in Calgary, but you can keep up with what is happening at Velvet by following us on LinkedIn or Twitter.

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