Chesapeake Energy Profit Surges On Natural Gas Strength

gas-well_244x300Wall Street Journal

By Chelsey Dulaney

Chesapeake Energy Corp. said its third-quarter profit more than tripled as the company posted sharply higher revenue in its natural gas and oil segment and increased production.

Results easily topped Wall Street expectations.

Chesapeake has struggled to recover from years of aggressive spending as the land-grab approach the company pioneered for drilling left it spending more than wells generated in revenue. Under Chief Executive Doug Lawler, the company has been selling assets to pay down its debts.

Chesapeake agreed last month to sell a slice of its gas business in the Marcellus and Utica shale formations in West Virginia and southwest Pennsylvania to Southwestern Energy Co. for $5.38 billion.

In June, the company completed its spinoff of its oil and natural-gas business, now known as Seventy Seven Energy Inc. The division—which as a part of Chesapeake offered drilling, hydraulic fracturing and rig relocation, among other services—pulled in about $2.2 billion in revenue last year. In conjunction with the spinoff, Chesapeake removed $1.1 billion of debt associated with the entity from its balance sheet, the company said.

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