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Ohio Utica Shale

Chesapeake selling off acreage in Oklahoma

By Bob Downing Published: October 12, 2012

From the Wall Street Journal:

Chesapeake Energy Corp. is selling a chunk of its holdings in Oklahoma as the cash-strapped natural-gas producer continues to trim acreage to raise money for drilling.

The Oklahoma City-based company is selling drilling rights to more than 28,000 acres in western Oklahoma, in an area abutting its "Hogshooter" oil discovery, which the company touted in June.

The package for sale includes some of Chesapeake's 30,000 Hogshooter net acres; it doesn't include a well the company boasted to be among the best in drilled decades in the continental U.S.

A Chesapeake spokesman said the property for sale is a "small, noncore package of acreage and not connected to our significant Hogshooter discovery."

The sale wouldn't change the company's drilling plans or budget, he added.

The move is another sign that Chesapeake is trimming its vast land holdings—which span more than 15 million acres across the country—to raise cash for its operations and reduce capital spending.

Chesapeake, the country's second-biggest natural-gas producer after Exxon Mobil, continues to grapple with gas prices that hover near decade lows and is shifting to produce more-profitable oil.

Chesapeake CEO and co-founder Aubrey McClendon has long spent heavily to secure drilling rights, but the company has been under pressure to curb spending from its biggest shareholders, who in June effectively took control the board.

Last month, the company announced a raft of deals it says will net $7 billion. Chesapeake has raised $11.6 billion this year from asset sales, bringing it close to its target of at least $13 billion by the end of 2012.

The company plans to slash drilling expenses next year by about 27%. Even so, it expects to spend about $3 billion more than its projected cash flow in 2013. Chesapeake still plans to raise as much as $5 billion from asset sales next year to make up the difference and meet its debt-reduction goals.



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Utica and Marcellus shale web sites

Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management State agency Web site.

ODNR Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management. State drilling permits. List is updated weekly.

ODNR Division of Geological Survey.

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Ohio State University Extension.

Ohio Farm Bureau.

Ohio Oil and Gas Association, a Granville-based group that represents 1,500 Ohio energy-related companies.

Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program.

Energy In Depth, a trade group.

Marcellus and Utica Shale Resource Center by Ohio law firm Bricker & Eckler.

Utica Shale, a compilation of Utica shale activities.

Landman Report Card, a site that looks at companies involved in gas and oil leases.FracFocus, a compilation of chemicals used in fracking individual wells as reported voluntarily by some drillers.

Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.

Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.

Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.

National Geographic's The Great Shale Rush.

The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.

Buckeye Forest Council.

Earthjustice, a national eco-group.

Stop Fracking Ohio.

People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.

Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.

No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.

Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.

Penn State Marcellus Center.

Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.

Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.