From Bloomberg News late last week:
By Jim Polson
Aubrey McClendon, the co-founder of Chesapeake Energy Corp. (CHK) who was ousted in April, has raised about $1.7 billion from private-equity firms to acquire and develop leases in the Utica Shale of eastern Ohio.
The Energy & Minerals Group is the lead equity investor and Blackstone Group LP (BX)’s GSO Capital Partners is the lead debt provider, Oklahoma City-based American Energy said in a statement on Wednsday, Oct. 9.
Other investment will come from First Reserve Corp., BlackRock Inc. (BLK), Magnetar Capital LLC and management of McClendon’s American Energy Partners LP.
American Energy plans to buy and develop 110,000 acres in the Utica and has arrangements to gather and process natural gas on all of it, the partnership said. One rig will begin drilling before year-end. McClendon left Chesapeake, the second-largest U.S. gas producer, after questions were raised about his personal borrowing from some of the company’s biggest financiers.
Drilling in the Utica deposit, where Chesapeake is the largest operator, has more than tripled in the past year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg Industries.
Gathering and processing on 80 percent of the acres will be done by a joint venture of MarkWest Energy Partners LP (MWE) and Energy & Minerals, according to the statement.
Jefferies Group LLC gave financial advice to American Energy while Andrews Kurth LLP and Duane Morris LLP provided legal advice. Baker Botts LLP represented Energy & Minerals and Latham & Watkins LLP advised GSO and certain other lenders, according to the statement.
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.