Southwestern Energy Gets New CEO – What’s Ahead for 2016?

Southwestern Energy CEO Steve Mueller is stepping down (or is it up) from his position as CEO. Mueller will remain on the board of directors as non-executive chairman. In his place, Southwestern’s current president, Bill Way, will take on the added title and responsibility of CEO. Southwestern is one of the biggest, and most important, drillers in the Marcellus/Utica. When there’s a change in leadership, it has the potential to impact company strategy. So we’re always interested when changes of this type come along. It was just two years ago that Steve Mueller stepped down as president but retained his title of CEO and was appointed to succeed the outgoing chairman of the board (see Southwestern Energy’s Board Changes, Marcellus Plans for 2014). The company has been on a mission to expand its Marcellus/Utica footprint ever since. In October 2014 Southwestern announced a deal to buy 413,000 Marcellus/Utica acres from Chesapeake Energy, most of it in West Virginia, along with 435 drilled wells in a deal costing the company $5.375 billion (see Chesapeake Sells Close to 25% of Marcellus/Utica Operation). Then in December 2014, Southwestern bought 46,700 net acres of leases and 63 operating Marcellus Shale wells in northeastern PA from WPX for $300 million (see First Shoe Drops: WPX Sells 1/2 Marcellus Assets to Southwestern). When everyone else was slowing down, Southwestern was doubling down on their drilling program (see Southwestern’s Contrarian Plan: Double Down on Drilling in the Marcellus). The question now is, what’s ahead for 2016 with Bill Way at the helm?…

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