Chesapeake Energy

Last updated
Chesapeake Energy Corporation
Public company
Traded as NYSE:  CHK
S&P 400 component
Industry Petroleum industry
Founded1989;30 years ago (1989)
Founder Aubrey McClendon
Tom L. Ward
Headquarters Oklahoma City
Key people
R. Brad Martin, Chairman
Robert Douglas Lawler, CEO
Domenic J. Dell'Osso, Jr., CFO
Products Petroleum
Natural gas
Production output
521 thousand barrels of oil equivalent (3,190,000 GJ) per day (2018)
RevenueIncrease2.svg $10.231 billion (2018)
Decrease2.svg $0.775 billion (2018)
Total assets Decrease2.svg $10.947 billion (2018)
Total equity Increase2.svg $0.467 billion (2018)
Number of employees
2,350 (2018)
Website www.chk.com
Footnotes /references
[1]

Chesapeake Energy Corporation is a company engaged in hydrocarbon exploration. It is headquartered in Oklahoma City. The company is named after the founder's love for the Chesapeake Bay region.

Hydrocarbon exploration search for hydrocarbons

Hydrocarbon exploration is the search by petroleum geologists and geophysicists for deposits of hydrocarbons, particularly petroleum and natural gas, in the Earth using petroleum geology.

Oklahoma City State capital city in Oklahoma, United States

Oklahoma City, often shortened to OKC, is the capital and largest city of the U.S. state of Oklahoma. The county seat of Oklahoma County, the city ranks 27th among United States cities in population. The population grew following the 2010 Census, with the population estimated to have increased to 643,648 as of July 2017. As of 2018, the Oklahoma City metropolitan area had a population of 1,396,445, and the Oklahoma City-Shawnee Combined Statistical Area had a population of 1,469,124 residents, making it Oklahoma's largest metropolitan area.

Chesapeake Bay An estuary in the U.S. states of Maryland and Virginia

The Chesapeake Bay is an estuary in the U.S. states of Maryland and Virginia. The Bay is located in the Mid-Atlantic region and is primarily separated from the Atlantic Ocean by the Delmarva Peninsula with its mouth located between Cape Henry and Cape Charles. With its northern portion in Maryland and the southern part in Virginia, the Chesapeake Bay is a very important feature for the ecology and economy of those two states, as well as others. More than 150 major rivers and streams flow into the Bay's 64,299-square-mile (166,534 km2) drainage basin, which covers parts of six states and all of Washington, D.C.

Contents

The company is ranked 314th on the Fortune 500. [2]

Operations

Production [1]

Formation% of 2018 Production
Marcellus Formation 26%
Haynesville Shale 25%
Eagle Ford Group 20%
Powder River Basin 5%
Mid-Continent oil province 5%
Divested assets21%
Total100%

In 2018, the company produced 521 thousand barrels of oil equivalent (3,190,000 GJ) per day, of which 73% was natural gas, 17% was petroleum, and 10% was natural gas liquids. [1] As of December 31, 2018, the company had 1.448  billion barrels of oil equivalent (8.86×109 GJ) of estimated proved reserves, of which 73% was natural gas, 20% was petroleum, and 7% was natural gas liquids. [1]

The barrel of oil equivalent (BOE) is a unit of energy based on the approximate energy released by burning one barrel of crude oil. The BOE is used by oil and gas companies in their financial statements as a way of combining oil and natural gas reserves and production into a single measure, although this energy equivalence does not take into account the lower financial value of energy in the form of gas.

Natural gas fossil fuel

Natural gas is a naturally occurring hydrocarbon gas mixture consisting primarily of methane, but commonly including varying amounts of other higher alkanes, and sometimes a small percentage of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, hydrogen sulfide, or helium. It is formed when layers of decomposing plant and animal matter are exposed to intense heat and pressure under the surface of the Earth over millions of years. The energy that the plants originally obtained from the sun is stored in the form of chemical bonds in the gas.

Petroleum naturally occurring flammable liquid

Petroleum is a naturally occurring, yellowish-black liquid found in geological formations beneath the Earth's surface. It is commonly refined into various types of fuels. Components of petroleum are separated using a technique called fractional distillation, i.e. separation of a liquid mixture into fractions differing in boiling point by means of distillation, typically using a fractionating column.

History

The company was founded in 1989 by Aubrey McClendon and Tom L. Ward with a $50,000 initial investment. McClendon named the company due to his love of the Chesapeake Bay region. [3] Ward left the company in 2006 to establish SandRidge Energy.

Aubrey McClendon American businessman

Aubrey Kerr McClendon was an American businessman and the founder and chief executive officer of American Energy Partners, LP. He also co-founded Chesapeake Energy, serving as its CEO and chairman. He was an outspoken advocate for natural gas as an alternative to oil and coal fuels, and a pioneer in employing fracking.

Tom L. Ward is a prominent Oklahoma City businessman and philanthropist. He is currently the Chairman and CEO of Mach Resources, a privately owned energy company in Oklahoma City, OK. He was the founder and former Chairman and CEO of Tapstone Energy and SandRidge Energy, Inc. and is the former President, Chief Operating Officer, and co-founder of Chesapeake Energy.

SandRidge Energy An oil and natural gas exploration company headquartered in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

SandRidge Energy, Inc. is a petroleum and natural gas exploration and production company organized in Delaware and headquartered in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

In 1993, the company became a public company via an initial public offering, valuing the company at $25 million. [4]

Public company Company that offers its securities for sale to the general public

A public company, publicly-traded company, publicly-held company, publicly-listed company, or public limited company is a corporation whose ownership is dispersed among the general public in many shares of stock which are freely traded on a stock exchange or in over-the-counter markets. In some jurisdictions, public companies over a certain size must be listed on an exchange. A public company can be listed or unlisted.

short description Type of securities offering}}

Focusing on a strategy of drilling horizontal natural gas wells in unconventional reservoirs, the company built a sizable position in the Golden Trend and Sholem Alechem fields of South-central Oklahoma and in the Giddings field of Southeast Texas. [5]

In the mid-1990s, the company attempted to extend the Austin Chalk play into western and central Louisiana but struggled to do so. [6]

In 1997, the company wrote down the value of its assets by over $200 million (approximately equal to shareholder's equity at the time) due to low commodity prices and implemented a turnaround plan. [7]

In the early 2000s, after a rise in natural gas prices made it economically feasible, the company focused on unconventional drilling in carbonates, tight sandstone, and shale particularly in the Barnett Shale, Fayetteville Shale, and the Marcellus Formation. [5]

In 2006, the company was added to the S&P 500 Index. [8]

In 2008, the company announced its discovery of the Haynesville Shale in East Texas and northwestern Louisiana. [9]

In 2009, the company celebrated its 20th anniversary by partnering with Orange County Choppers to create the world's first chopper powered by compressed natural gas. [10]

In June 2012, in response to shareholder concerns about corporate governance issues under McClendon's watch, the company appointed Archie W. Dunham as chairman, while Aubrey McClendon remained CEO. [11]

In December 2012, the company sold midstream assets for $2.16 billion. [12]

Effective April 1, 2013, Aubrey McClendon was forced to leave the company after revelations that he took a personal stake in Chesapeake wells and then used those investments as collateral for up to $1.1 billion in loans from banks that also financed the company. [13] [14]

In May 2013, Robert Douglas Lawler, an executive of Anadarko Petroleum, was named CEO of the company. [15] In 2018, Lawler's compensation was $23 million. [16]

In 2013, Chesapeake sold 55,000 net acres in the Northern Eagle Ford Shale and 9,600 net acres in the Haynesville Shale to EXCO for aggregate proceeds of $1 billion. [17]

In December 2014, Chesapeake sold a large portion of its oil and gas assets in the Marcellus Formation and Utica Shale to Southwestern Energy for net proceeds of $4.975 billion. The transaction included approximately 413,000 net acres and 1,500 wells in northern West Virginia and southern Pennsylvania. Net production of the sold assets was 57,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in December 2014. [18]

In 2014, the company also sold additional midstream assets for $520 million. [19]

In September 2015, the company announced layoffs of hundreds of people in Oklahoma City. [20]

On March 2, 2016, former CEO and co-founder Aubrey McClendon died in a single-occupant single-vehicle crash when he drove his vehicle straight into a concrete bridge embankment in Oklahoma City. [21] [22] It occurred the day after a United States Department of Justice federal grand jury indicted McClendon for violating antitrust laws during his leadership at Chesapeake. [21]

In 2017, the company sold assets in the Haynesville shale for $465 million. [23]

In January 2018, the company laid off 400 employees. [24]

In the first quarter of 2018, the company sold assets in Oklahoma for $500 million. [25]

In February 2019, the company acquired Texas oil producer WildHorse Resource Development for $4 billion in cash and stock. [26]

Controversies

Antitrust allegations

Alleged collusion with Encana

In mid-2012, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) began an investigation into whether Encana, Canada's largest natural gas company, "illegally colluded with Chesapeake Energy Corp to lower the price of Michigan exploration lands during a public land auction in May 2010." Encana's internal investigation determined in 2012 that it did not collude with Chesapeake. [27] The Federal investigation ended in 2014. [28]

Cancellation of leases

On June 5, 2014, the state of Michigan filed felony fraud and racketeering charges against Chesapeake Energy, alleging that the company canceled hundreds of land leases on false pretenses after it sought to obtain oil and gas rights. [29] Michigan attorney general Bill Schuette claimed that the company "obtained uncompensated land options from these landowners by false pretenses, and prevented competitors from leasing the land." Chesapeake Energy disputed all charges. [30] In 2015, the company settled the lawsuits by agreeing to pay $25 million to the landowners. [14]

Underpayment of royalties to landowners

The company has faced thousands of lawsuits regarding the alleged under-payment of royalties due to individuals that rented land to the company. [31] In 2013, the company agreed to pay $7.5 million to settle a class action lawsuit by Pennsylvania landowners. [32] In 2017, the company agreed to pay another $30 million to Pennsylvania landowners. [33]

Alleged collusion in Oklahoma

On March 1, 2016, a DOJ federal grand jury indicted Aubrey McClendon for allegedly rigging the bidding process for land leases between December 2007 and March 2012. [14] McClendon was charged of orchestrating a conspiracy in which two oil and gas companies, not named in the indictment, colluded not to bid against each other for the purchase of land in northwestern Oklahoma. [21] According to the indictment, the companies decided ahead of time who would win bids, with the winner then allocating an interest in the leases to the other company, eliminating open competitive bidding. [34] The DOJ said this was the first case resulting from a continuing federal antitrust investigation into price fixing, bid rigging, and other anti-competitive conduct in the petroleum industry.

The next day, on March 2, 2016, McClendon died in a single-occupant single-vehicle crash when he drove his vehicle straight into a concrete bridge embankment. [21] The charges were dropped by the DOJ as a result of the death. [35]

Possible conflicts of interest by Ex-CEO Aubrey McClendon

Lobbying

In 2004, then CEO Aubrey McClendon contributed $450,000 to the campaign of Tom Corbett for attorney general of Pennsylvania. These funds were cited as the reason Corbett won the election, with a narrow margin. When Corbett eventually became governor of Pennsylvania, he was very supportive of Chesapeake's fracking activity in Pennsylvania, and Pennsylvania was the only state without a severance tax on drillers, despite the fact that the budget for education was being reduced. [42]

In 2008, then CEO Aubrey McClendon formed American Clean Skies Foundation, a non-profit foundation focused on selling the virtues of natural gas. The foundation was funded by the company and by McClendon. The foundation was criticized for doing nothing but pushing Congress to pass policies that benefited the company and McClendon's business interests. [43]

Environmental damage

Discharges of fill material

In 2013, the Environmental Protection Agency levied a fine of $3.2 million on a subsidiary of the company and forced it to spend $6.5 million "to restore 27 sites damaged by unauthorized discharges of fill material into streams and wetlands". [44]

2011 well blowout

On April 19, 2011, due to a failed seal assembly in a wellhead, the company lost control of a natural gas well in Bradford County, Pennsylvania that was being fracture stimulated, causing a large spill of salt water and chemicals, such as 2-butoxyethanol and methanol, into the surrounding countryside. [45] [46] [47] By April 22, 2011, the leak had been stemmed. [48] Maryland announced its intention to sue the company for violation of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and the Clean Water Act since fracking fluids from the well blowout wound up in the Chesapeake Bay. [49]

2015 landslide

In November 2015, the company was fined $1.4 million in Pennsylvania for a landslide caused by the company in 2011 that resulted in clogged waterways. [50] [51]

Awards and recognition

In 2007, the company was named the “Best Managed Oil-and-Gas Company” by Forbes. [52]

In 2009, S&P Global Platts named the company as the Energy Producer of the Year and it received the Industry Leadership Award. The company was also a finalist in the Deal of the Year, CEO of the Year, and Community Development Program of the Year categories. [53] In 2012, the company received an Award of Excellence. [54]

In 2010, Shaleplay, the company's corporate band, won first place in the Fortune Battle of the Corporate Bands. [55]

In 2014, the company was ranked 51st on the 100 Best Companies to Work by Fortune. [56]

Sponsorships

In 2011, Chesapeake Energy agreed to a 12-year naming rights partnership with the Oklahoma City Thunder for naming and branding rights of the Chesapeake Energy Arena at a cost of $3 million per year, with annual increases of 3%. [57]

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References

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