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Jul 17, 2012

Exclusive: Chesapeake board changes could trigger bonus windfall for many

By Anna Driver and John Shiffman and Brian Grow

(Reuters) – Chesapeake Energy Corp often boasts that it’s one of America’s best workplaces, offering its 13,500 employees such benefits as Botox injections, NBA tickets and a fitness center with an Olympic-sized pool and a rock-climbing wall.

What the company hasn’t disclosed is perhaps the most extraordinary perk of all: A group of about 1,600 employees is guaranteed a unique type of payment if the company changes hands, internal Chesapeake documents reviewed by Reuters show.

Jul 3, 2012

Analysis: Gas liquids glut may spur asset sales, cuts

HOUSTON (Reuters) – U.S. oil and gas companies that have depended on natural gas liquids to lift profits may now have to rein in spending or sell some assets after the industry drilled its way into a glut of natural gas liquids.

Prolonged low natural gas prices sent most of the exploration and production industry in search of gas that contains butane, propane and ethane – natural gas liquids (NGLs) that can be stripped out and sold for higher prices linked to a barrel of crude oil.

Jul 2, 2012

Exxon considers oil/gas exploration in Afghanistan

HOUSTON (Reuters) – Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is contemplating participation in an oil and gas tender of six blocks in northern Afghanistan, a company spokesman said on Monday.

Access to the world’s oil reserves for companies like Exxon has gotten tougher in recent years as governments assert tighter control of their resources. Opportunity exists, however, in countries like Afghanistan or Iraq where foreign oil companies’ budgets and expertise are needed.

Jun 25, 2012

Chesapeake, Encana shares fall on report of land price plot

By Brian Grow and Anna Driver

(Reuters) – Shares of Chesapeake Energy Corp (CHK.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Encana Corp (ECA.TO: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) tumbled Monday after a Reuters investigation showed that top executives of the two rivals plotted in 2010 to avoid bidding against each other in a state auction and in at least nine prospective deals with private land owners.

Following the report, the state of Michigan pledged to determine whether the two energy giants acted two years ago to suppress land prices there.

Jun 21, 2012

Chesapeake names ex-Conoco chief Dunham chairman

June 21 (Reuters) – Chesapeake Energy Corp named
former Conoco head Archie Dunham its new chairman, replacing
Aubrey McClendon as it seeks to quell a shareholder revolt over
a governance crisis.

McClendon, who co-founded the company 23 years ago and built
it into the second-largest natural gas producer in the country
after Exxon Mobil Corp, continues as chief executive,
but will report to a more independent board and an influential
chairman who will likely rein in his free-spending ways.

Jun 19, 2012

Stanford exec Holt to plead guilty-source

June 19 (Reuters) – Laura Pendergest-Holt, a former
executive in convicted swindler Allen Stanford’s investment
firm, has agreed to plead guilty and will receive a three-year
prison sentence for her role in a $7 billion fraud, a source
familiar with the case said on Tuesday.

Earlier this month, Stanford was sentenced to 110 years in
prison for running a Ponzi scheme in which he stole money from
investors around the world that helped to finance an extravagant
lifestyle.

Jun 14, 2012

Allen Stanford sentenced to 110 years in prison

HOUSTON (Reuters) – Allen Stanford, the former Texas billionaire convicted of an $7 billion Ponzi scheme, was sentenced to 110 years in prison by a U.S. federal judge on Thursday.

Stanford, who was convicted of 13 felony counts of fraud and conspiracy and obstruction by a Houston jury in March, used fraudulent certificates of deposit issued by his offshore bank in Antigua to bilk thousands of investors out of their savings.

Jun 12, 2012

Chesapeake CEO losing a title, but keeping powers

HOUSTON (Reuters) – Chesapeake Energy Corp’s (CHK.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) board of directors, despite being taken to task by investors for lax oversight of Chief Executive Aubrey McClendon, has changed the company’s bylaws to allow the executive to keep powers he had as chairman.

McClendon, who co-founded Chesapeake, will lose his title as chairman by June 22 after the board and the company’s biggest shareholders approve an independent chairman to replace him. That action was taken after Reuters reported that McClendon arranged for more than $1 billion in financing using his stake in thousands of company wells as collateral.

Jun 8, 2012

Chesapeake shareholders rebuke board, seek changes

OKLAHOMA CITY, June 8 (Reuters) – Chesapeake Energy Corp
shareholders delivered a sweeping rebuke of the company’s board on Friday,
withholding support for two members up for reelection in the wake of a
governance crisis and poor financial performance at the U.S. oil and gas
company.

The company said the two directors — V. Burns Hargis, the president of
Oklahoma State University, and Richard Davidson, a former chief executive
officer of Union Pacific Corp — had tendered their resignations from
the board after winning the backing of just slightly more than a quarter of the
shareholder votes cast.

Jun 7, 2012

Fireworks expected at Chesapeake annual meeting

By Anna Driver and Matt Daily

(Reuters) – Chesapeake Energy Corp’s (CHK.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) annual meeting promises to be raucous, with a vote on executive compensation in the spotlight, but the company’s biggest challenge will be convincing investors it is still a good investment despite the turmoil.

At the insistence of the company’s two largest shareholders, activist Carl Icahn and Mason Hawkins’ Southeastern Asset Management, Chesapeake said on Monday that four directors will resign and be replaced by shareholder representatives. Paul Hodgson, senior research associate at governance firm GMI Ratings expects they will include Richard Davidson and Burns Hargis, two Chesapeake directors up for reelection at Friday’s meeting.

    • About Anna

      "I currently cover large U.S. oil and gas companies including Exxon Mobil and ConocoPhillips as part of the equities desk's Raw Materials Team. I am based in Houston, Texas."
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