As this issue goes to press, the Wall Street Journal and Fox Business is reporting that Chesapeake Energy has put 94,205 Utica Shale acres on the auction block. That’s nearly 10% of their remaining 1 million Utica Shale acres. This is not unprecedented. Last June Chesapeake put 337,000 acres on the auction block (see Chesapeake Selling 337K Utica Shale Acres, Counties IDed). Although the company has not yet made a public statement about this sale, MDN went fishing and found the listing from the real estate site where it’s listed. We’ve embedded it below (shows a map of the acreage).
Here’s what we notice about the listing, including which counties are involved…
As you can see from the listing, the acreage is all in either Portage or Stark counties in Ohio. A little bit of the acreage along the eastern edge is located in the "wet gas" or natural gas liquids area, but the vast majority of the land is in the "oil" window, making it very desirable. Just more than half of the acreage, 53%, is "held by production."
Here’s what the WSJ and Fox is reporting (pretty thin on details):
Chesapeake Energy Corp. is putting up for sale more than 94,000 net acres in the Utica shale formation in Ohio, according to real-estate listings made public Tuesday.
The parcel would be nearly 10% of the one million net acres Chesapeake owns in the Utica shale formation, a stretch of rock spread between Ohio and Pennsylvania that Chesapeake has said could become a major source of oil and natural gas.
The land for sale includes three wells, two of which Chesapeake operates, according to the company’s listing with Meagher Energy. Chesapeake is seeking to sell the land to focus on its other Utica holdings, company spokesman Michael Kehs said.
"That acreage can be more valuable to someone else than to us regarding where we’re putting our rigs," Mr. Kehs said.
Chesapeake, the second-largest U.S. natural-gas producer after Exxon Mobil Corp., has said it would sell at least $4 billion in assets this year to bring its balance sheet back into order after years of acquisitions and capital-intensive projects.*
*Fox Business (Apr 9, 2013) – Chesapeake Selling Utica Shale Land – Real-Estate Filings
Here’s the real estate listing from the Meagher Energy website: