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Encana Opens Higher; CEO Eresman Steps Down

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TORONTO - Encana Corp. opened up 2.1% Monday after its long-time president and chief executive, Randall Eresman, said Friday that he was retiring.

The stock has since slipped and was recently up 1.1% to C$19.72 in Toronto Stock Exchange trading.

The executive's departure comes after a rough patch for Encana, one of Canada's biggest energy players and a major North American natural-gas producers. The company focused on natural-gas exploration and production just as an explosion of drilling across the continent sent prices of the commodity lower. More recently, it has undertaken a major asset-sale program and turned toward exploring and developing more oil plays and developments heavy in natural-gas liquids.

Eresman said in a statement Friday that "now is the right time" for him to retire, noting the company is "well positioned to execute on its plans to rapidly transition to a more balanced commodity portfolio."

Encana director Clayton Woitas will act as interim president and chief executive.

Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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