Aubrey McClendon's and Chesapeake Energy's financial woes don't seem like they're going to improve in the very near future.
And that's good or bad news for the people of Pennsylvania -- depending on who you ask.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Chesapeake Energy's new strategy includes going on a fracking spree in the southwestern corner of Pennsylvania.
Last month, McClendon told Wall Street analysts in a conference call that the troubled energy giant that bills itself "the world’s biggest fracker" plans to save itself by shifting from "a strategy of asset capture to a strategy of asset harvest."
That’s fancy talk for drilling more wells than ever across the thousands of acres of prime Marcellus Shale real estate that Chesapeake already has under lease. The epicenter, McClendon told Wall Street, would be the southwestern corner of Pennsylvania as well as adjacent regions in Ohio and West Virginia, where wells tend to pull up liquid gases like ethane that are now fetching a higher price.
And McClendon’s Hail Mary pass got an indirect boost this week from Gov. Corbett — whose career-making 2004 election as attorney general came after the energy tycoon wrote checks for $450,000 that were funneled into the Pennsylvanian’s campaign.
For the industry, Chesapeake and job-seekers, this is a good effect. But the article says that environmentalists are riled up because they're worried about the potential health effects and environmental damage.
And an article today from Pipeline editor Erich Schwartzel explains that Chesapeake also intends to hit up Ohio by putting up for sale more than 337,000 acres across 19 eastern Ohio counties. This will help the company's debt, regardless of whether or not it chooses to actually top the Utica Shale buried beneath.