Pennsylvania

Energy. Environment. Economy.

Chesapeake Energy pulls up stakes in PA and Ohio

Workers move a section of well casing into place at a Chesapeake Energy natural gas well site near Burlington, Pa.Workers at a natural gas site in Bradford County.

AP Photo/Ralph Wilson

Workers move a section of well casing into place at a Chesapeake Energy natural gas well site in Bradford County.

Chesapeake Energy, one of the state’s largest gas producers with more than 800 active wells in Bradford and Susquehanna counties, has stopped drilling new wells in both the Marcellus and Utica Shale plays. The Oklahoma based oil and gas producer, which also operates in Texas, Louisiana and Wyoming, announced Wednesday a net loss of $14.8 billion in 2015.

It put just three new Marcellus wells on production last year, compared to 25 new wells in 2014. Chesapeake also plans to cut its capital expenditures by more than half in 2016 and sell off between $500 million and $1 billion in assets. The company divested $700 million in assets in 2015.

In Pennsylvania Chesapeake has racked up about $1.4 million in fines with 428 violations. It’s also facing allegations of cheating Pennsylvania leaseholders out of royalties. While the company denies this, Attorney General Kathleen Kane has filed a lawsuit. The company is the subject of several class action lawsuits and was also recently subpoenaed by the U.S. Department of Justice, seeking information about its royalty practices.

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