Alex Pourbaix came into the role of Cenovus Energy chief executive in late 2017 vowing “to deliver on the near-term commitment to reduce debt while continuing to focus on maximizing the value of the oil sands and Deep Basin assets, with the goal of increasing shareholder returns”.

Four-and-a-half years, one pandemic, a merger with fellow Canadian company Husky Energy and several market gyrations later, Pourbaix seems to be following through on his promise.

This week, the Calgary-based producer reported that it took in C$1.4