Alan Withey has spent his entire 28-year career in finance, with the majority of it focused on the energy sector and with a role as CEO for Trident Exploration. Licensed as a CFA and CPA in both Canada and the U.S., he joined Bighorn Energy Corp., in December 2020 in Calgary, Alberta. As VP of finance, Alan is responsible for all things financial within the company, including evaluating and funding acquisitions, divestitures, and new ventures, as well as leading the team of finance and legal professionals, and coordinating with Bighorn’s team of land and operation specialists. He was also part of Bighorn’s recent groundbreaking decision, the first of its kind in Canada—to be a net negative emitter of carbon dioxide.
Bighorn Energy Corp Corporation is a privately owned oil and gas producer in Alberta, responsible for the full-cycle economic requirements of oil and gas assets. The company currently has 240 operating wells, 340 miles of pipeline, and 12,000 horsepower in facilities. But they’re also aware of the need to plan long term and their responsibility to maintain ecological health. To that end, Bighorn Energy resolved to go carbon-negative through a carbon sequestration project. It was Alan’s first major initiative with Bighorn, requiring him to find partner companies and handle negotiations—and as someone with the ability to set direction and reach goals, even when those goals are unprecedented, this fits firmly in his wheelhouse. “When I first looked at the project, I said, ‘This could be possible,’” he remembers. “This is a world-class carbon sequestration project, so it takes a lot of work.”
Bighorn’s mission has the potential to improve not only their own emissions, but a large part of Western Canada’s total emissions—and its one of a very select few companies worldwide to attempt this. Sequestration can reduce CO2 emissions relatively quickly, and make a significant change within our lifetime. In simple terms, CO2 that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere is deposited into depleted hydrocarbon reservoirs, essentially “putting it back.” Although the process will take a few years to get going, as Alan explains, it’s a start reversing the 200-year climate crisis that is engulfing the world. “While it will certainly help the company grow, there’s an altruistic motivation to meet the crisis that global emissions have caused, address it, and put also our company into a more sustainable practice,” he says. “I like that the company is stepping into something new and requires skill to navigate. It brings the most intelligent, most strategic parts out of everybody in the group, and it’s addressing one of the world’s greatest environmental crises.”
VP Finance — Bighorn Energy Corp.