Texas Business Report: Low Natural Gas Prices Hurt Chesapeake Energy

Chesapeake Energy put 57,000 acres of crude oil and liquid natural gas fields in the Woodbine Sand area up for sale this week.
Sat June 2, 2012 1:41 am
AP Photo | Pat Sullivan

The Texas economy is one of the most robust in the world. Wildly profitable companies and ingenious entrepreneurs call this state home, and what happens here influences businesses around the nation. Here’s a slice of the profits, losses, big deals, and backroom decisions happening across Texas this week.

Chesapeakes and Valleys
Chesapeake Energy is dumping more of its East Texas territory in an effort to increase its cash flow and climb out of debt. On Wednesday the company put 57,000 acres of crude oil and liquid natural gas fields in the Woodbine Sand area up for sale. Chesapeake is suffering primarily due to falling natural gas prices, and MarketWatch reports that the move “further illustrates the cash-strapped company’s efforts to cut its debt to $9.5 billion by the end of 2012.” So far the company has sold off $2.6 billion in assets this year.

The Bottom Line: Chesapeake’s bleak financial situation is making the company — the second-largest natural gas producer in the U.S. — look like an attractive acquisition target. Bloomberg reports that Irving-based Exxon and other potential suitors “may see a chance to scoop up the largest holder of onshore drilling leases before gas prices rebound.”

Neiman for all Seasons
It was a solid spring season for Neiman Marcus, as the Dallas-based

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