Sunday, June 28, 2020

U.S. Natural Gas Major Chesapeake Files For Bankruptcy Protection (CHK)

Not as major as it once was but still big enough that taking some of their production out of the mix is a positive for prices.
From Reuters:

Shale pioneer Chesapeake Energy files for bankruptcy
Chesapeake Energy Corp (CHK.N) filed for Chapter 11 on Sunday, becoming the largest U.S. oil and gas producer to seek bankruptcy protection in recent years as it bowed to heavy debts and the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on energy markets.

The filing marks an end of an era for the Oklahoma City-based shale pioneer, and comes after months of negotiations with creditors. Reuters first reported in March the company had retained debt advisers.
Chesapeake was co-founded by Aubrey McClendon, an early and high profile advocate of shale drilling who died in 2016 in a fiery one-car crash in Oklahoma while facing a federal probe into bid rigging. Over more than two decades, McClendon built Chesapeake from a small wildcatter to a top U.S. producer of natural gas. It remains the sixth-largest producer by volume.

Current CEO Doug Lawler, who inherited a company saddled with about $13 billion in debt in 2013, managed to chip at the debt pile with spending cuts and asset sales, but this year’s historic oil price rout left Chesapeake without the ability to refinance that debt.  ...

And more tomorrow, this is a pretty big deal, though a long time in coming (the 1:200 reverse split is how you get an $8000 stock:

CHK Chesapeake Energy Corporation monthly Stock Chart

In a bit of madness: small buyers combined with scared shorts, the stock jumped from $12.50 on Thursday June 4th to $77.50 on Monday the 8th, triggering a run on adult diapers.

U.S. natural gas futures are up a couple percent on the news: