Chesapeake Energy Corp.has quietly moved into its new offices in Stark County, but the move involved fewer workers than had been projected earlier.
Between 150 and 200 workers are housed in the top two floors of the new five-story office building in Louisville, said Louisville city manager E. Thomas Ault.
The Chesapeake staffers moved into the building in early June.
But it appears that Chesapeake has revised and scaled back its Louisville plans, he said.
The company had not provided the city with its latest plans, he said.
It appears unlikely that second office building will be built by Chesapeake and the company has indicated that it will sell parts of the property to its subsidiaries, Ault said. The company may attempt to sell off 150 acres.
Efforts to reach a corporate spokesman in Oklahoma City were unsuccessful.
Chesapeake has gone through a change in corporate leadership and has cut staff and retrenched while undertaking numerous cost-cutting moves to reduce major debt.
Earlier, the Oklahoma-based energy company had said as many as 400 or more workers would be housed in the Louisville building that would serve as its Utica shale headquarters when the plans were announced in mid-2012.
The company purchased 291 acres in southwest Louisville in the Beck Industrial Commerce Park.
The tract lies between state Route 44 and Beck Road in eastern Stark County.
The only financial incentive that Louisville provided is a 25 percent city income tax credit for 10 years. That incentive has been capped at $6 million. Louisville has a 2 percent municipal income tax.
Chesapeake has been leasing space at two locations in downtown Canton and in the city of Green in Summit County.
Most of Chesapeake’s drilling activities have been centered in Carroll County southeast of Canton.
The company has leased 1 million acres in eastern Ohio. It is seeking natural gas, plus oil and ethanes, butanes and propanes, from the Utica shale.
Chesapeake has drilled 277 Utica wells from January through March, according to state records. That makes the company the most active in eastern Ohio.
Bob Downing can be reached at 330-996-3745 or firstname.lastname@example.org.