Talisman Energy Inc. History

Address:
Suite 3400
855 3rd Street S.W.
Calgary, Alberta T2P 5C5
Canada

Telephone: (403) 237-1234
Fax: (403) 237-1902

Website:
Public Company
Incorporated: 1925 as Supertest Petroleum Corporation
Employees: 1,263
Sales: C$3.99 billion ($2.66 billion) (2000)
Stock Exchanges: Toronto New York
Ticker Symbol: TLM
NAIC: 211111 Crude Petroleum and Natural Gas Extraction

Company Perspectives:

Talisman's continuing growth worldwide is supported by our large Canadian operations base. Growth in Canada will come from natural gas exploration and development, with increasing emphasis on larger, deeper prospects. Talisman's strategy is to develop core areas near infrastructure, while maintaining a high level of operatorship to provide control over costs and capital spending.

Key Dates:

1925:
Supertest Petroleum Corporation is founded with the opening of a gas station in London, Ontario.
1953:
British Petroleum Company (BP) enters the Canadian market through the purchase of a minority stake in Calgary-based Triad Oil Company.
1969:
BP's Canadian holding company is renamed BP Canada.
1971:
BP acquires 97.8 percent of Supertest, which it renames BP Canada Ltd. and merges with its other Canadian interests.
1992:
BP sells off its 57 percent stake in BP Canada to the public; BP Canada is renamed Talisman Energy Inc.
1993:
James W. Buckee takes over the helm as president and CEO; Encor Inc. is acquired.
1994:
Bow Valley Energy Inc. is acquired for C$1.82 billion, giving Talisman properties in the British North Sea and in Indonesia.
1996:
Company completes three deals that substantially increase its North Sea production.
1997:
Hostile bid for Wascana Energy Inc. is scuttled by a higher offer from Canadian Occidental Petroleum Ltd.; Talisman acquires Pembina Resources Limited from Loram Corporation for C$605 million.
1998:
Company acquires Arakis Energy Corporation and its 25 percent stake in a major oil production project in Sudan for C$277.5 million.
1999:
Rigel Energy Corporation is acquired for C$1.12 billion.
2001:
Talisman acquires Petromet Resources Limited for C$823 million and Lundin Oil AB for C$504.8 million; the company announces major oil discoveries in Trinidad.

Company History:

Talisman Energy Inc. is Canada's largest independent oil and gas exploration and production company. Proven reserves stood at 1.2 billion barrels of oil equivalent at the end of 2000. Talisman's main areas of operation are Canada, the British North Sea, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Sudan, with additional operations in Algeria, Colombia, Trinidad, and the United States. The company's involvement in the Sudan has been controversial because of the political situation in that war-torn African nation. Talisman emerged in 1992 after its former parent, British Petroleum Company plc, sold its 57 percent interest in the Canadian concern, which had been known as BP Canada. Since becoming independent, Talisman Energy has grown rapidly through a series of acquisitions under the leadership of James W. Buckee.

Early History of Supertest Petroleum and BP Canada

Talisman's roots can be found in the Supertest Petroleum Corporation, established on December 17, 1925, with the opening of a corner gas station in London, Ontario. The company immediately began building a network of gas stations, and in 1926 it bought the gas and oil interests of Ensign Oil Company, based in Montreal. Growth for Supertest was slow during the economic depression of the 1930s, when unemployment and persistent economic downturns affected the ability of Canadians to buy and drive cars.

The rival British Petroleum Company plc (BP) made its first large foray into the Canadian market in 1953. BP, headquartered in London, England, had its earliest roots in the Middle East, where extensive gas and oil interests were found and exploited, in Iran and Saudi Arabia in particular. As early as 1926, the company considered expanding outside of the Middle East. Specifically, Arnold Wilson, who succeeded F.G. Watson as managing director of D'Arcy Exploration Company, a division of BP, told company directors that disappointment with drilling in Asia and Africa led him to consider drilling opportunities in Canada or South America. As it happened, BP did much to explore new opportunities before it entered the Canadian market in a substantial way. Between 1927 and 1930, company geologists showed considerable interests in possible fields in British Columbia, New Brunswick, and Alberta. The geologists, however, could not agree on whether potential gas and oil reserves in the Canadian hinterland warranted further investment toward drilling.

In 1953, BP bought a minority stake in Triad Oil Company, a small exploration company based in Calgary with large exploration holdings in western Canada. Four years later, BP entered the Quebec market. By 1960, when the company's first refinery opened for business in Montreal, BP had over 800 service stations in the French-speaking province. Now operating as rivals, both companies expanded during the 1950s and 1960s. Earlier, in 1959, Supertest merged into its own operations those of Reliance Petroleum Ltd., also based in Calgary. In 1964, BP bought the eastern Canadian interests of Cities Service, comprising 750 retail gas stations and a refinery at Oakville, Ontario. This acquisition brought to just under 1,800 the number of retail gas stations that BP had in Ontario and Quebec and added to its sales and service teams for home heating and the agricultural, commercial, marine, and aviation industries.

In 1969, BP's holding company in Canada was renamed BP Canada, and the principal marketing company was renamed BP Oil Ltd. Put another way, BP's Canadian operations now had two arms, an upstream arm (oil and gas exploration and production) and a downstream arm (refining and marketing). A year later, all BP's marketing and refining interests in western Canada were put under the corporate umbrella of BP Oil and Gas Ltd., including the interests of the former Triad Oil Company.

1971: Merger of BP Canada and Supertest

The discovery in August 1969 of giant oil reserves at Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, convinced BP headquarters in London that it had a significant future in northern Canada. In August 1971, BP Canadian Holdings Ltd., then BP Canadian Ltd., and a division of BP in Britain offered to buy a controlling interest in Supertest. The British parent exchanged for shares all of its petroleum marketing, refining, and exploration interests in Canada. These entailed all the outstanding stock of BP Oil Ltd.--an associate company mainly engaged in marketing and refining in eastern Canada--and a 65.9 percent interest in BP Oil and Gas Ltd. The BP offer was accepted by Corlon Investments Ltd., which then held an 83.7 percent stake in Supertest. It sold its entire stake for $10 a share. By November of that year, BP had bought 97.8 percent of Supertest, having paid $16.50 per share for that holding.

Immediately upon buying Supertest, the new company, BP Canada Ltd., set about securing new oil and gas acreage holdings in the Arctic Islands region of Canada. The idea was to explore for possible oil and gas reserves in the regions adjoining the 1969 Alaskan oil and gas discoveries. Once located, substantial oil and gas reserves would be extracted from the earth via drilling rigs and then refined downstream before being sold to consumers through a network of gas stations. Other oil companies tended to be specific about identifying and taking aim at specific oil targets. BP Canada, on the other hand, had a "shotgun," as opposed to a "rifle," approach. It explored in many places in search of leads and eventual discoveries.

Total acreage in 1970 for BP Canada amounted to 26.7 million gross acres, up from 19.3 million gross acres held a year earlier. Of particular interest was a 1.2 million acre tract of property purchased for exploration on Vanier, Emerak, and Prince Patrick Islands where actual drilling was to commence in 1971. BP Canada's net production of crude oil and natural gas in 1970 amounted to 18,582 barrels daily, up 17 percent on production a year earlier. Sales of natural gas had jumped 24 percent to an average of 62.4 million cubic feet per day, compared with production in 1969. In 1971, the company drilled its first Arctic well on Vanier Island, and labeled it "BP et al Panarctic Hotspur J-20." It then added two more, one on Prince Patrick Island ("BP et al Panarctic Satellite F-68") and the other on Graham Island ("BP et al Graham C-52"). BP Canada also purchased considerable acreage holdings in northern Alberta and British Columbia for possible exploration and drilling in those regions.

A year later, the former offices of Supertest Investments and Petroleum in Calgary had been closed as management of the new company was moved to the Montreal-based headquarters of BP Oil and Gas Ltd. Production for the company jumped substantially in 1972. Sales of petroleum products averaged 94,400 barrels daily, whereas production of crude oil and natural gas was posted at an average 22,132 barrels daily. To accommodate this increased production, the company announced plans in 1972 to add a further 40,000 barrels per day of refining capacity at its Trafalgar Refinery facility in Oakville, Ontario. Products produced there would be marketed under the BP and Supertest brand names.

In April 1972, just months after the Supertest merger, company President Derek Mitchell, who had initially come to the position in 1966, outlined his business strategy to shareholders in the company's 1971 annual report: "Your company is now firmly established as a major marketer and refiner of petroleum products in Ontario and Quebec, is well placed as a producer of oil and gas in Western Canada, and has an important stake in the exploration activity rapidly gaining momentum in Canada's frontier areas." BP Canada was establishing upstream exploration and production facilities in western Canada to serve key downstream markets in Ontario and Quebec, where oil and gas products could be sold directly to consumers.

Surviving the Oil Shocks of the 1970s

By late 1972, the company was beginning to feel the effects of higher world prices for a barrel of oil caused by the efforts of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) cartel. Essentially, a higher price paid for imported crude oil forced BP Canada to pay more for the energy reserves it required to replace petroleum products sold earlier downstream in the marketplace.

This trend worried Mitchell, who said in March 1973 in the company's 1972 annual report: "The comparative stability of the 1960s is giving way to a decade likely to be characterized by rising prices for petroleum and growing government interest in the industry's affairs, both at the political and at the technical levels." Mitchell's words were to prove prophetic. Throughout 1973, OPEC instigated production cutbacks and embargoes among its customers, which played havoc with the global oil industry. The price of oil on the global market went up, and the world supply seemed to be shrinking.

Turmoil and confusion gripped the oil industry. Responding, BP Canada began moving crude oil from western Canada to Montreal through the St. Lawrence Seaway, and later through the Panama Canal during the winter freeze-up. A thorn in the company's side was the growing involvement in the domestic oil industry by the Canadian government in Ottawa. Specifically, the government was calling on the industry to hold down anticipated price rises for Canadian oil products, which would grow costlier as they were affected by the rising world oil prices charged by OPEC member countries. Such restraint was meant to allow the government to develop a Canadian pricing policy to cushion the impact on consumers from rising world oil prices and provide an incentive for the domestic oil industry to develop new energy sources.

As a measure of the growing spread between domestic and world oil prices, a barrel of Canadian crude oil rose by 85 cents to around $4.50 in Toronto in the 12 months leading up to January 1, 1974. During that same period, the cost of imported crude oil rose by some $8 to over $11 a barrel in Montreal. BP Canada was making increased profits from selling petroleum products to consumers at higher prices, but it had to restore energy reserves it had sold off by buying imported crude oil at around twice the December 1973 level. According to the company, it was under-recovering its cost of crude oil by some $300,000 a day in the second half of 1973.

BP Canada might have been trading in crisis-ridden conditions in 1974, but it still managed to see profits rise 82 percent to $39.5 million that year. Even so, the company still found grounds to complain in its 1975 annual report about growing royalties and income taxes owed to Canada's provincial and federal governments. What is more, by the end of 1974, world oil prices had risen to five times the mid-1973 level. The unprecedented price hikes had led to increased production, and ultimately a glut in the world oil market. The net result: lower margins for BP Canada products in an ever more competitive market.

In 1975, the company began exploring for oil off Newfoundland, on Canada's easternmost seaboard. Also that year, the expansion of the Trafalgar Refinery was completed, but only after delays and cost overruns. A year later, BP Canada bought the remaining 65 percent stake in British Columbia Oil Sands Ltd. to take full control of the company. Paying $20 per share in the transaction, the company gained ownership of oil and gas acreage in the Yoyo, Kotcho, Cabin, and Louise gas fields of northeastern British Columbia. Cost-cutting measures that year included reducing the number of retail outlets selling BP petroleum brand products in Ontario and Quebec from just over 3,000 to around 1,800. The company also introduced BP no-lead gasoline at its remaining retail outlets.

Early in 1977, BP Canada signed an agreement with the Alberta Oil Sands Technology and Research Authority that would see the government body contribute half the $18 million cost of testing a sequential steam heating system to extract heavy crude oil (thick sludge used as highway asphalt) in the Wolf Lake area of Alberta. These tarlike deposits are filled with impurities but can be upgraded to light, valuable crude oil; the process is worthwhile if there is a $3 to $5 spread between the light and heavy crude oil variants. At the time, the price of oil on the world market was rising too quickly, compared with the price for domestically produced oil, to fully justify the development of heavy oil upgraders. The Wolf Lake project was noteworthy for its incentives to develop new sources of oil and gas in Canada. Companies such as BP Canada often had to extract heavier crude oil reserves at greater than average expense and longer than usual lead times before it could deliver a refined product to consumer markets in a light crude form.

BP Canada in the 1970s continued its thrust into the rugged terrain of the Monkman area in northeastern British Columbia. It now held interests from 25 to 64 percent in 204,000 acres and 100 percent of 94,000 acres in the region, which was thought to hold vast natural gas reserves. The British Columbia Petroleum Corporation announced plans to build a pipeline and plant facilities to bring the Monkman area natural gas to market in 1980.

In 1978, BP Canada saw its profits rise over the $40 million mark for the first time. This record, however, was reached at a time when the industry as a whole was experiencing a market glut because of excess refining capacity and reduced consumer demand for petroleum products due to the unexpected success of conservation measures. The Iranian revolution in 1979 caused yet another jump in the price of oil on the world market. BP Canada saw its offshore supply drop substantially because of embargoes. To replace the shortfall, the company arranged to send Canadian crude oil from western Canada to northern-tier U.S. refiners, who in turn would divert their imported oil to the Montreal refinery.

At this time, BP Canada also faced a glut in the natural gas market, then a key earner for the company. Production in 1979 was 109.5 million cubic feet per day, down from 122.7 million cubic feet per day a year earlier. Purchasers had essentially been unable to take all the gas they had contracted to buy. Sales of natural gas continued slowly in 1980, but the company did manage to post profits of $63.1 million for fiscal 1979, up 93 percent from the year before. A jump like that had company Chairman and CEO Mitchell defending the company's performance, given its persistent calls for less government control over the oil industry. Suspicions abounded in the 1970s that the oil industry as a whole was manipulating the OPEC crisis for its own profitable ends.

Developments in the 1980s

Speaking to shareholders, Mitchell repeated his company's call for regulatory restraint in the company's 1980 annual report: "There is no doubt that given appropriate policies--higher crude oil prices, a fair and stable tax and royalty system which will allow adequate netbacks to the industry, a commitment to allow companies to reap the fruits of their endeavors, and the encouragement of fuels substitution and energy conservation--Canada can again become self-sufficient in oil." If Mitchell sought government restraint, he ended up with greater intervention still. The Conservative government, entering the 1980 federal election, had proposed an 18-cents-a-gallon gasoline tax, to subsidize more expensive oil imports. That proposed excise tax in part led to the Conservative government's downfall at the polls. The incoming Liberal government introduced the National Energy Program in October 1980. It painted foreign oil companies as profit-hungry conglomerates and gave support to Canadian-owned companies such as Petro-Canada.

Company Chairman Mitchell complained in March 1981 in the company's 1980 annual report: "The government is now hell-bent on putting on a circus for the benefit of the media and the public. ... The principal purpose will, doubtless, be to try to justify by propaganda and by 'trial' in the media the federal government's already well-demonstrated xenophobic prejudices against one of Canada's vital and most successful industries."

Although the Liberal government became a foul word in the BP Canada boardroom, the company's fortunes did not suffer. For the first time in 1980, gas from the Sukunka-Bullmoose area of northeastern British Columbia reached the market after many years of exploration. It was also announced that year that BP Canada's headquarters would move from Montreal to Toronto. The relocation served two purposes: it would remove the company from the separatist tensions then developing in Quebec and would place the headquarters in Ontario, where 70 percent of the company's assets were.

Profits for 1980 were posted at $104.3 million, a 56 percent advancement over the previous year. The rate of return on investment was 17.3 percent, a company record. Despite the government's aim to restrain foreign oil companies in Canada and support the domestic sector, the multinationals were doing better than ever.

Company Chairman Mitchell died suddenly on October 29, 1981, and was replaced by R. Hanbidge as president and CEO. A year later, BP Canada shelved plans to proceed with developing the Sukunka coal mine in northeastern British Columbia. Low coal prices on the world market accounted for the strategic move. The company in 1984 completed work on its Wolf Lake project, which came onstream five months ahead of schedule and with a price tag of $110 million. Full production of 1,100 cubic meters of fuel per day was achieved in September 1985, and expanded production at Wolf Lake was forecast at 5,600 cubic meters per day by the end of the decade.

The falling price of oil on the world market hit BP Canada's earnings in 1985. Cash flow fell by 17 percent, and net profits fell by 55 percent to $20 million, compared with results for the year earlier. Continuing success at energy conservation during the 1980s also cut into production at BP Canada. In 1985, sales of light and medium oil were down by 10 percent on sales a year earlier, and 15 percent of production was lost during the first quarter of 1987. Also that year, production at the Wolf Lake project stood at 1,140 cubic meters per day, not far above production figures when the project came onstream in 1984.

For these reasons, the company attempted to curb its operating costs to maintain profitability. M.A. Kirkby, president of BP Canada, told shareholders in the 1987 annual report: "While we cannot control the worldwide prices of oil, gas and metals, we are constantly working to reduce our costs and to improve our netbacks within the market." Cost-cutting measures helped boost BP Canada's net profits to $44.6 million in 1987, an all-time high. But the very next year, net profits were down to $10.3 million. The main reason: world oil prices fell by 27 percent in 1988.

In 1989 David Claydon replaced Kirkby as president of BP Canada. That year, he ordered environmental audits of all BP Canadian operations in response to growing concerns about possible environmental damage from oil exploration and refining. The company also announced plans to boost its natural gas exploration and reserves, recognizing that natural gas was a clean-burning fuel considered more environmentally sound by consumers than oil or coal.

Early 1990s: From BP Canada to Talisman Energy

In 1991, mounting debt and losses prompted a management shuffle and a worldwide review of operations by the head office of British Petroleum in London. By mid-1992, BP announced it would sell off its 57 percent stake in BP Canada through a secondary offering of shares. The Financial Times of Canada reported that Canadian employees responded with a burst of applause on hearing the news. To sell its stake in a highly profitable company with prospects that greatly encouraged Canadian and American investors, BP in London clearly had priorities elsewhere.

Upon being sold in June 1992, Talisman's share price stood at C$13.00. At the end of July 1993, the share price had climbed to C$26.50. The company now had Jim Buckee at its helm as president and CEO. The British-born businessman, Oxford-educated and with a Ph.D. in astrophysics, transformed Talisman in the 1990s into a smaller company focused on oil and gas exploration and production. For example, the company sold its Wolf Lake oil sands assets to Amoco Canada Petroleum Company in April 1992. Talisman then bought Encor Inc. the following year, gaining a company that held the oil and gas assets that once belonged to TransCanada PipeLines Ltd. The purchase price comprised C$239 million worth of treasury shares.

No longer subservient to a British multinational parent, Talisman was now free to seek international operations. The company had already gained Encor's foreign activities in Algeria and Indonesia, but Buckee was seeking more substantial overseas holdings to balance Talisman's domestic operations. Bow Valley Energy Inc. was quickly identified as a prime target, and with a willing seller in the form of 53 percent owner British Gas PLC, a deal was soon struck. Talisman completed its acquisition of Bow Valley in August 1994, through a C$1.82 billion transaction consisting of C$627 million in cash, C$899 million in stock, and C$297 million in assumed debt. The purchase made Talisman the third largest gas producer in Canada but more importantly gave the company substantial properties in the British North Sea and in Indonesia, some of which were already in production and some of which were still at the prospecting stage. To reduce debt in the wake of the deal, Talisman sold off some assets, including a group of oil and gas fields in southwestern Saskatchewan inherited from Bow Valley.

During 1996, Talisman substantially increased its North Sea holdings through three transactions. In January, Goal Petroleum plc was acquired for C$275 million. The deal doubled Talisman's oil production from the North Sea to nearly 39,000 barrels of crude oil per day, nearly equal to its production in western Canada. Later in the year, Talisman purchased a 52 percent stake in the North Sea's Ross field, which was expected to come onstream in the late 1990s with 20,000 barrels per day for Talisman. In the third deal, the company paid British Petroleum more than C$100 million for controlling stakes in three North Sea fields, adding another 16,000 barrels a day to Talisman's production.

Late 1990s and Beyond: Controversy over Involvement in Sudan

Continuing its aggressive approach to expansion in 1997, a year in which the company gained a listing on the New York Stock Exchange, Talisman made a hostile C$1.56 billion bid for Wascana Energy Inc. The deal would have doubled Talisman's oil and gas properties in western Canada, but Canadian Occidental Petroleum Ltd. stepped in as a white knight with an offer that topped Talisman's, scuttling the bid. Talisman succeeded, however, with a C$605 million purchase of Pembina Resources Limited from Loram Corporation. Completed in October 1997, the transaction included Pembina's oil and natural gas operations in western Canada and Ontario with daily production of 10,000 barrels of oil and gas liquids and 92 million cubic feet of natural gas.

One year later, Talisman acquired Calgary-based Arakis Energy Corporation for C$277.5 million in stock. Already operating in such politically risky areas as Indonesia and Algeria, Talisman now gained Arakis's 25 percent stake in a major crude oil production and pipeline project in Sudan. Arakis had been attempting to develop the project since the 1990s but had been unable to raise the funds necessary to move the project forward because of the turbulent situation in Sudan, which was in the 42nd year of a civil war pitting the Islamic government of the north against mainly Christian and animist groups in the south. In late 1996, Arakis had brought partners into the project--China National Petroleum Corporation, which took a 40 percent stake; Malaysia's Petronas Carigali Overseas Sdn. Bhd. (30 percent); and Sudapet Ltd., owned by the Sudanese government (5 percent). Ominously for Talisman, just three days after the company announced that it would purchase Arakis, the U.S. government launched cruise missiles at a purported nerve gas factory in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum. Talisman shares soon plunged by nearly a third before recovering, and the deal was completed. In managing the crisis brought on by the missile strike, Buckee emphasized the long-range potential of the project and that the revenues from the oil fields could help to alleviate some of the strife plaguing Sudan.

Talisman completed a noncontroversial acquisition in September 1999, purchasing Calgary-based Rigel Energy Corporation for C$1.12 billion--C$735.8 million in stock, C$57 million in cash, and C$329.4 million in assumed debt. This deal significantly increased Talisman's natural gas production in western Canada and its oil production in the North Sea. It also helped to catapult the company into the top spot among Canadian oil and gas production companies in 2000.

The purchase of Rigel received little notice compared to the reams of negative publicity that Talisman was receiving over its Sudanese operations--publicity that increased in intensity in 1999 when oil began flowing through the completed pipeline and the government of Sudan began receiving hundreds of millions of dollars in oil revenues. Talisman was accused of helping to fund the government in its war against the rebels in the south, a government that was widely accused of committing human rights violations against its own citizens. Among the allegations, the government was accused of condoning slavery and forcing villagers to relocate to make way for the oil project. Human rights and religious groups called for the U.S. and Canadian governments to place sanctions on Talisman and put pressure on investment firms to withdraw their investments in Talisman. The U.S. government imposed sanctions on Talisman in February 2000--banning the refinement of Sudanese oil in the United States--but the Canadian government elected not to impose sanctions, despite a scathing report by a government-appointed special investigator, John Harker. In his report, Harker wrote that "Sudan is a place of extraordinary suffering and continuing human rights violations, and the oil operations in which a Canadian company is involved add more suffering." Talisman continued to maintain that its involvement in Sudan would lead to improvements in the human rights situation and help bring peace, and it also signed the International Code of Ethics for Canadian Business and in early 2001 released its first corporate social responsibility report on its Sudanese operations.

By the end of 2000, Talisman Energy's annual revenues were approaching C$4 billion, and its proven oil and gas reserves had reached 1.2 billion barrels of oil equivalent, up from 485 million barrels in 1995. In May 2001, Talisman acquired Calgary-based Petromet Resources Limited for C$765.9 million in cash and the assumption of C$57 million in debt in a deal that further expanded the company's natural gas operations in Canada. Then in August of that same year, Lundin Oil AB was acquired for C$434.6 million in cash and $70.2 million in assumed debt. Based in Sweden, Lundin had oil and gas interests in the North Sea, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Papua New Guinea that were conveyed to Talisman. Crucially, Lundin's operations in Sudan, Russia, and Libya were divested prior to the completion of the purchase.

Pressure on Talisman to exit from Sudan increased following the events of September 11, 2001, particularly because the Sudanese government was accused of harboring and aiding the Al Qaeda terrorist network. The U.S. Congress began serious consideration of a bill that would strip Talisman of its New York Stock Exchange listing, a potentially devastating blow to the company. Then in November 2001 human rights activists in New York filed a class-action lawsuit against Talisman on behalf of southern Sudanese alleging that the company was complicit in human rights abuses in Sudan. Around this same time, Talisman announced that it had made major oil discoveries in Trinidad that could be as large or larger than its Sudanese operations. The Trinidad discovery, combined with the international operations newly acquired via the Lundin purchase, provided the potential pretext for the company's exit from Sudan. It appeared likely that Talisman could divest itself of its Sudanese operations without suffering a drastic reduction in oil output or revenues. It was unclear, however, whether the company would take advantage of this opportunity to rid itself of its Sudanese albatross.

Principal Subsidiaries: Talisman Energy (U.K.) Limited; Talisman North Sea Limited (U.K.); Talisman (Greater Nile) B.V. (Netherlands); Talisman (Corridor) Ltd. (Barbados).

Principal Competitors: Imperial Oil Limited; Canadian Natural Resources Limited; BP Canada Energy Company; PanCanadian Energy Corporation; Alberta Energy Company Ltd.; Nexen Inc.; Husky Energy Inc.; Petro-Canada; Conoco Inc.; Shell Canada Limited; Suncor Energy Inc.

Further Reading:

  • Bott, Robert, "Fuelled for Takeoff: Jim Buckee's Talisman Energy Leads the Way As One of the Most Dynamic Oil and Gas Players in a Reborn Calgary Oil Patch," Globe and Mail, Report on Business Magazine, November 25, 1994, p. 50.
  • "BP Canada Cut Loose As British Parent Sells Stake," Globe and Mail, May 13, 1992.
  • "BP Plans Further Cutbacks," Globe and Mail, May 6, 1992.
  • Carlisle, Tamsin, "Talisman Agrees to Buy Rigel Energy in $563.2 Million Cash-and-Stock Deal," Wall Street Journal, August 24, 1999, p. B9.
  • ------, "Talisman, Chasing Prized Natural Gas, to Buy Petromet in $469.7 Million Deal," Wall Street Journal, April 11, 2001, p. C14.
  • ------, "Talisman Makes Purchase Offer for Bow Valley," Wall Street Journal, May 18, 1994, p. A3.
  • ------, "Talisman Plans Unsolicited Bid for Wascana," Wall Street Journal, February 14, 1997, p. B23.
  • Chase, Steven, "Talisman Bids for Arakis Energy," Globe and Mail, August 18, 1998, p. B1.
  • ------, "Talisman Cools on Quitting Sudan," Globe and Mail, May 3, 2000, p. B4.
  • ------, "Talisman Stares Down Sudan Strike," Globe and Mail, October 9, 1998, p. B25.
  • ------, "Talisman to Acquire Smaller Peer Rigel," Globe and Mail, August 24, 1999, p. B1.
  • Chase, Steven, and Jeff Sallot, "Heat Grows on Talisman over Sudan," Globe and Mail, May 4, 2000, p. A1.
  • Drohan, Madelaine, "Into Africa: Talisman Energy Wants Shareholders to Believe That Its Investment in Sudan Is Secure," Globe and Mail, Report on Business Magazine, September 24, 1999, p. 82.
  • ------, "Sudan Play Bad Timing for Talisman," Globe and Mail, October 27, 1999, p. B2.
  • Fitz-James, Michael, "Talisman Turns the Tables: Responding to Social Protest Doesn't Necessarily Mean Backing Down," Corporate Legal Times, October 2001.
  • "Free of Stodgy Parents and Gushing Profits," Financial Times of Canada, July 31, 1993.
  • "Fueling a Fire," Economist, September 2, 2000, pp. 62-63.
  • Ingram, Mathew, "Talisman Deep in Sudan Quagmire," Globe and Mail, November 1, 1999, p. B2.
  • ------, "Talisman Pumps Itself Up," Globe and Mail, October 14, 1996, p. B2.
  • Jang, Brent, "Talisman Bets on North Sea: Calgary Company Pays Over $100-Million for Controlling Stakes in Three Offshore Oil Fields," Globe and Mail, August 21, 1996, p. B1.
  • ------, "Talisman Finds Huge Gas Pool in Alberta," Globe and Mail, August 15, 1997, p. B1.
  • ------, "Talisman Looks Around for Bargains: Acquisitions Could Top $1-Billion," Globe and Mail, January 30, 1997, p. B1.
  • ------, "Talisman to Buy Goal, Double Oil Output," Globe and Mail, December 16, 1995, p. B3.
  • Leitch, Carolyn, "Talisman Kills Wascana Bid," Globe and Mail, April 10, 1997, p. B1.
  • Lem, Gail, "Talisman Makes Bid for Encor," Globe and Mail, March 11, 1993, p. B9.
  • Motherwell, Cathryn, "Talisman Bids $1.8-Billion for Bow Valley," Globe and Mail, May 18, 1994, p. B1.
  • Nguyen, Lily, "Suit Filed in U.S. Against Talisman: Sudan Class Action Disappoints Firm," Globe and Mail, November 9, 2001, p. B3.
  • ------, "Talisman Heralds "Major" Oil Discovery off Trinidad Coast," Globe and Mail, December 5, 2001, p. B1.
  • ------, "Talisman Oil Find Could Add Major Area of Operation," Globe and Mail, November 7, 2001, p. B7.
  • Nikiforuk, Andrew, "Company Loves Misery," Canadian Business, March 20, 2000, p. 16.
  • ------, "Oil Patch Pariah," Canadian Business, December 10, 1999, pp. 69-70, 72.
  • Pitts, Gordon, "NGOs to Confront Talisman CEO," Globe and Mail, October 16, 2001, p. B8.
  • "Religious Groups Challenge Oil Giant," Christian Century, April 19-26, 2000, p. 450.
  • Simon, Bernard, "Oil Company Defends Role in Sudan," New York Times, October 17, 2001, p. W1.
  • "Talisman Grapples with Negative Publicity over Its Oil Project in War-Torn Sudan," Oil and Gas Journal, January 17, 2000.
  • "Talisman in a Flurry of Changes," Globe and Mail, April 14, 1993.
  • Wallace, Bruce, "A Sliding Moral Scale," Maclean's, February 28, 2000, p. 25.
  • Willis, Andrew, "Streetwise Talisman Lost a Fair Fight," Globe and Mail, April 11, 1997, p. B11.

    Source: International Directory of Company Histories, Vol. 47. St. James Press, 2002.

    comments powered by Disqus