Penn West Petroleum (PWE) Appoints New CEO

October 4, 2016 6:32 AM EDT

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Penn West Petroleum (NYSE: PWE) announced that David French will be joining the company as President and Chief Executive Officer and will join the Board of Directors with effect from October 24, 2016 succeeding Dave Roberts who has been in the role since June, 2013.

Mr. French, 47, most recently served as President and CEO of Bankers Petroleum Ltd., a Calgary-based publicly-traded oil and gas company with operations in Southeastern Europe. Mr. French successfully led the operational and commercial growth of the enterprise over his tenure. He has worked a wide range of reservoir rock types, and primary, secondary and tertiary development throughout Canada, the lower 48 United States and Europe. Prior to joining Bankers in 2013, Mr. French held several executive roles at Apache Corporation including Regional Production Manager for the western Canadian business, and Global Vice President of Business Development. Earlier in his career Mr. French worked for McKinsey & Co. in energy consulting and built his career in the Permian Basin for Amoco Production Company (now BP). Mr. French holds a Bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Rice University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

"I am thrilled to have this opportunity to join Penn West and help deliver the promise of our new core business. This is an exciting time for the company as we focus on the future and build an engine for growth", says Mr. French. "Penn West has an enviable position in the Cardium play that is enjoying a technological renaissance through well completion design and application of water flooding, and there are exciting opportunities in the Alberta Viking that I expect to provide attractive investment options. I look forward to joining the team at Penn West as we focus on setting the standard for what's possible in our assets."

Rick George, Chairman of the Penn West board comments "We are extremely pleased to have David French join us as our new CEO. David has the right combination of technical, executive management and business development skills to lead Penn West in its evolution into a best in class light oil growth company with a solid balance sheet."

Mr. Roberts will continue to lead Penn West in October working with Mr. French and the Board of Directors to ensure a seamless leadership transition.

In commenting on the transition, Mr. George said, "For the past three years Dave Roberts has brought his broad industry experience, energy, and a tremendous will to the reshaping and repositioning of Penn West. He is leaving us with a highly focused company and a strong talented team. Dave also had the vision to begin discussing with the Board some time ago the need for the smaller, more nimble "new" Penn West to have new leadership to take it forward into the future. We are grateful to Dave for his service during a time of extremely difficult industry conditions."

Mr. Roberts added, "People have said that we could write a book about our experience over the past three years here, but words couldn't capture the affection I have for the people of Penn West who never lost heart and never quit on our journey. Penn West is on solid footing with a sensible balance sheet, very good oil growth assets and importantly, a deep and talented team of people in all facets of the company from our management team to our technical disciplines, support functions, and critically, our field operations personnel. I look forward to watching David and the Penn West team take the baton and surge forward to a bright future."

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