CALGARY, Alberta – Despite a significant cash injection from Canadian pop superstar Justin Bieber in 2013, announcing a creative crowd-sourced attempt to fund its Q3 2014 drilling program, and legally changing its name in 2017, beleaguered Calgary-based oil and gas E&P company Robsidian Energy (formerly Best West Exploration) has formally filed for creditor protection and has closed its doors effective immediately.
The company has not released a statement online, but it left an outgoing phone message for investors and a sign on the front door of its 9th avenue headquarters that reads, “That’s all folks!”
Other E&P companies are stepping in to offer emotional support to those who impacted by the closure, including Regina-based Booyah Resources, which has already sent out sympathy e-cards to Robsidian employees on LinkedIn.
“I think Robsidian closing its doors will have a tremendous impact on its 17 employees and 156 investors, so we’re just looking to lend a helping hand,” Rick Booyah told 2P News, adding that there aren’t as many E&P companies in western Canada as there once were. “Not a lot of energy companies have kept their costs in check, and this is what can happen when a company’s 12-month trailing funds flow to debt ratio is sub 0.1 per cent.”
According to the bankruptcy filing, senior executives took on a financial restructuring program in Q1 and Q2 of 2019 that was underpinned by the success of a set of creative strategic alternatives. Unfortunately, those alternatives did not pan out, which forced the company to throw in the towel.
A source very close to the company spoke about 2 of these strategic alternatives to 2P News’ Yu Mii under conditions of anonymity.
Drilling for Cannabis: The company’s Chief Geologist thought the company could diversify by chasing some prehistoric cannabis that she thought would have been enhanced and fortified through diagenesis. A special operations group was created to execute a 6-pad, 30-well pilot program central Alberta with no luck. The source quoted the team lead as saying, “We presumed that dinosaurs consumed recreational marijuana, and if they did then it must have been of some wheelchair variety. I really thought we were onto something there, but it didn’t take us long to learn that those other guys were right after all – marijuana only grows on the surface of the planet.” Net loss to company: $1.2B.
Robsidian Petro-Brown Pale Ale: The company’s VP operations figured instead of paying to dispose of produced water, there was an opportunity to bolt-on a micro-brewery skid onto each of the company’s oil batteries in an effort to create a medium-bodied beer that would generate on-going revenue. The idea was that the residual oil saturation of the brew would be less than the percentage that would harm humans, but enough to give the beer a slight taste of success and a delicate nose of prosperity. But it turns out that the new Robsidian Ale didn’t make it past the first tasting group. Net loss to company: $787M.
A company spokesperson suggests that affected investors make alternative arrangements, naming other companies in which they can invest their money including Trident Exporation, EOG Canada, Chesapeake Canada, and Nine Energy Services.