OPTI Canada Bids Farewell to President, Welcomes New Leader

OPTI Canada announced today that Sid Dykstra, President and Chief Executive Officer, will be leaving OPTI after the annual and special shareholder meeting on April 28, 2009.

Mr. Dykstra joined OPTI in 2001. Under his leadership, OPTI developed, constructed and operated a world class oil sands upgrading facility at Long Lake that is expected to generate sustained cash flow for over 40 years.

"I am pleased to have had the opportunity to build and lead an organization that brought a step change to oil sands development," said Sid Dykstra. "One of our greatest achievements has been our safety performance through construction and start-up, with credit due to everyone involved in this Project. Now as the Long Lake Project is up and running and considering that OPTI is no longer operator, it is time for me to look for new opportunities."

The Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Christopher Slubicki as President and Chief Executive Officer of OPTI effective April 28, 2009. Mr. Slubicki has been a Director of OPTI since February 1, 2007.

Mr. Slubicki was formerly the Vice Chairman of Scotia Waterous. Mr. Slubicki was one of the founders of Waterous & Co., a private global oil and gas investment banking firm, where he was involved in all aspects of the firm's strategic development as Senior Managing Director and Principal. Waterous & Co. was sold to The Bank of Nova Scotia in 2005. Prior to the founding of Waterous, Mr. Slubicki held operations management and engineering positions within the oil and gas industry including Placer CEGO Petroleum Ltd. and Chevron Canada Resources Limited. Mr. Slubicki is a director of Bonavista Energy Trust and Insignia Energy Ltd. He holds a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Calgary, a B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering from Queen's University, and is a professional engineer in Alberta.

"The Board wants to recognize Sid for his accomplishments in leading OPTI and turning an innovative concept into the reality of the facilities at Long Lake today. As we move into a new phase for OPTI we look forward to the leadership that Chris will bring," said James Stanford, OPTI's Chairman.