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    Husky Energy Executive Resigns

    In a surprise move, Jamie Blair, a prominent member of the gasoline marketer's management team, calls it quits.

    CALGARY, Alberta -- Husky Energy Inc.'s veteran chief operating officer is leaving Canada's fifth-largest integrated oil firm in surprise move, but Husky said it had nothing to do with recent takeover speculation.

    Jamie Blair, who has been prominent as the oil producer, refiner and gasoline marketer's public face to analysts and investors since it went public in late 2000, said he would resign effective Jan. 1 to pursue "new horizons."

    The company said it had yet to find a replacement for Blair, who is in charge of production operations and has been with Husky for more than two decades. The company owns and operates more than 600 Husky and Mohawk convenience stores.

    Several firms had been rumored as having an interest in Husky, chief among them France's TotalFinaElf and domestic rival Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. Husky spokeswoman Sydney Sharpe said she would not comment on the state of any talks, but stressed Blair's resignation was unrelated to the situation.

    "I have enjoyed a rewarding career with Husky with a great variety of exciting and challenging business ventures to focus on. Husky is now approaching several key milestones in its growth plan," Blair said. "This is a good time for me to move on to pursue new horizons."

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