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Why Chesapeake sold its Marcellus and Utica assets

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Chesapeake’s asset divestiture

Chesapeake Energy (CHK) is on track with its “asset-divestment agenda.” On October 16, Chesapeake announced the sale of a large portion of its oil and gas assets in the Marcellus and Utica shales to Southwestern Energy (SWN).

CHK key operating areas

The image above shows Chesapeake’s operational footprint in the Marcellus and Utica regions. Read more about Chesapeake’s operations and recent quarterly performance at “A key overview of Chesapeake and its second quarter 2014 earnings.”

The price tag

SWN will buy the Marcellus and Utica assets for ~$5.38 billion. The transaction is believed to be Southwestern’s largest deal. Later in this series, we’ll discuss what the deal means for SWN.

Chesapeake wanted to achieve $4 billion in spending cash by the end of the year. It planned to get the money through asset divestments.

We’ll discuss why Chesapeake wants to achieve this goal later in this series.

Asset overview

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CHK is selling its assets in the southern Marcellus Shale and the eastern portion of the Utica Shale. The assets include 435 horizontal wells. In September, the wells had a net production of ~336 million cubic feet of gas equivalent per day (or mmcf/d). We’ll discuss this more in the next part in the series.

Key exchange-traded funds (or ETFs)

CHK and SWN are components of ETFs like the SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (XOP), the Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLE), and the iShares U.S. Energy ETF (IYE).

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