Yesterday was not a good day for Chesapeake Energy and its CEO Aubrey McClendon. By the end of the day, Chesapeake’s stock had slide to its lowest since September 2009, down 15 percent at $16.72 (see chart below). Why the drop? A number of reasons, but mostly because of a new revelation, “the other shoe dropping.”
On an earnings call with stockholders and analysts yesterday, McClendon laid out a plan for reducing a pile of debt the company has racked up that now totals $12.6 billion. Investors remain nervous about the mounting debt. The company earlier this week reported a net loss of $71 million, or 11 cents per share, for the first three months of this year. Several weeks ago Reuters reported that McClendon had been running up his own debt tab in order to supply cash for drilling wells in which he is a 2.5 percent stakeholder in a deal with the company. The company’s stock took a beating on that news.
A month and a half ago it seemed imminent that Aither Chemicals would announce they would build a new ethane cracker plant at the Bayer CropScience plant site at Institute Industrial Park, located in Kanawha County, near Charleston, WV (see this MDN story). Bayer CropScience, owner of the site, and MarkWest Energy, a huge pipeline company, were named as potential partners in the deal. But the expected announcement never came, and all has been silent since.
An article in the Charleston Daily Mail caught MDN’s eye, an article that says the local city of Nitro, WV have filed a petition with Kanawha County to annex 44 properties surrounding the Bayer CropScience plant. The properties in that area of the county are unincorporated—no official town or city municipal government control—and if Nitro annexes the property surrounding the plant, it prevents any other communities from trying to annex the plant itself at some future date.
Williams Partners and Cabot Oil & Gas are working on a new 120-mile natural gas pipeline, dubbed the Constitution Pipeline, that will stretch from Susquehanna County, PA through Broome County, NY, and on through Chenango County, Delaware County, and terminate in Schoharie County, connecting to the Iroquois Gas Transmission pipeline and the Tennessee Gas pipeline (see the map embedded below).
EXCO Resources released their first quarter operational update on Tuesday. In the Marcellus Shale, EXCO is currently operating three drilling rigs with plans to drill 49 wells this year in the Marcellus. Most of EXCO’s drilling happens in Lycoming County, PA (Williamsport area).
The relevant portion of the EXCO update concerning the Marcellus: