Stop Press: Chesapeake Sells ALL of its Ohio Utica Assets for $2B

In what is perhaps the second biggest thing to hit Ohio since maybe the plow (the first being the Utica Shale, borrowing a phrase from Aubrey McClendon), Chesapeake Energy announced yesterday it is selling ALL of its 933,000 Ohio acres (including 320,000 net Utica acres) and 920 operated and non-operated Ohio Utica wells to Encino Acquisition Partners for $2 billion. This is truly big news! Encino Energy is a young company, founded in 2011, headquartered in Houston, TX. Last year Encino formed a partnership with Canada Pension Plan Investment Board to form Encino Acquisition Partners. It is the Encino subsidiary that is buying Chessy’s Ohio Utica assets. The burning question is, Will Encino drill more wells? Or just sit on its new acquisition? Based on how they describe themselves, we think Encino is going to pursue an active drilling program in the Ohio Utica. According to their own boilerplate, the company’s mission is to, “focus on driving long-term investor returns by acquiring and developing high-quality assets with an established base of production and a large, low-cost development inventory across the lower 48 states of the United States.” They’ve certainly acquired a high-quality asset with an established base of production and it has a large, low-cost development inventory. All the boxes are checked in buying Chesapeake’s Utica assets. So we’ll hold Encino to their word that they will “develop” it–meaning drill new wells. Chesapeake plans to use the $2 billion to pay down some of their ginormous debt…

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