It's been a long time coming, but EnCana (NYSE:ECA) has finally spun off its integrated oil arm into a separate, publicly traded vehicle.

Back in May 2008, when this plan was first floated, I suggested that Fools avoid the initial share price pop, as you'd likely "get a better entry point some time in the next eight months or so." That understated the severity of the sell-off to come, of course. The prespin EnCana later traded hands in the mid-$30 range. At that price, you got Cenovus Energy (NYSE:CVE) for next to nothing.

The mortals who hid in their bunkers during the dark hours of the bear market are now faced with the prospect of picking up Cenovus shares at a less deeply discounted $24 per share. That's not to say the opportunity to profit from this spinoff has necessarily passed you by. Let's see what this company brings to the table.

Cenovus is an old hand at oil sands and heavy oil production. The firm's Foster Creek project -- one of two key assets that's joint ventured with ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) -- marked the oil patch's first commercial steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) operation back in 2001. The field has since spit out more than 100 million barrels of oil and is forecast to exit 2009 at a gross rate of 100,000 barrels per day. These are some relatively low-cost barrels, too. No wonder Suncor Energy (NYSE:SU), Nexen (NYSE:NXY), and other oil sands players have since gotten on the SAGD bandwagon.

While you might think of companies like ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) as "oil companies," their natural gas exposure makes them quite a bit less leveraged to oil than Cenovus. Between this company, and the newly proposed enhanced oil recovery pairing of Denbury Resources (NYSE:DNR) and Encore Acquisition down here in the States, investors have some pretty mouth-watering oil plays to choose from today.

Fool contributor Toby Shute doesn't have a position in any company mentioned. Check out his CAPS profile or follow his articles using Twitter or RSS. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.