Chesapeake Energy Corp.'s stock took a mid-week tumble, after a news report that Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Aubrey McClendon used his stakes in company wells as collateral to finance his share of the well costs, Bloombrg News reported.
Chesapeake fell 9 percent on Wednesday.
McClendon has borrowed as much as $1.1 billion during the past three years to pay for his share of well costs, using his well stakes as collateral, Reuters reported, citing loan documents.
The arrangements may compromise his duty to shareholders, Reuters said.
“We do not believe any conflicts of interest exist but if any arise there are numerous mechanisms to counteract any such conflict,” Chesapeake General Counsel Henry J. Hood said in a statement.
The arrangement “effectively aligns Mr. McClendon’s interests with the interests of Chesapeake’s shareholders,” Hood wrote.
McClendon has attributed the decline in Chesapeake’s share price to the “gravitational pull” of U.S. natural-gas prices which are near a 10-year low.
Bloomberg News said McClendon’s option to take a 2.5 percent stake in all wells Chesapeake drills each year was included in a 2009 compensation agreement executed with the company after he was forced to sell substantially all his shares to cover losses in the 2008 stock market crash. It disclosed the agreement in January 2009.
McClendon has been mortgaging his stake in West Virginia oil & gas leases with lenders including EIG Global Energy Partners, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported March 25.
“Chesapeake is not required to monitor, obtain or disclose personal financial information with respect to its officers and directors,” Hood wrote.
McClendon and Chesapeake settled a pension-fund lawsuit over his compensation in November. McClendon pledged “more transparent” pay arrangements June 10, after more than a third of shareholders refused to endorse the company’s executive compensation plan.
The issue led the company is issue a 14-page statement. You can access that document and Hood's full statement here.
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.
The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.
Earthjustice, a national eco-group.
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.
Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.
Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.