Chesapeake Energy to sell North Texas Barnett Shale assets

OKLAHOMA CITY – Chesapeake Energy Corp. is selling its interests in the Barnett Shale formation in North Texas to Saddle Barnett Resources to increase operating income and reduce expenses.

The Oklahoma City-based company said Wednesday it has agreed to end its natural gas gathering agreement with Williams Partners, for which Chesapeake will pay $334 million in cash. Chesapeake has also renegotiated its agreement with Williams for the Mid-Continent area in exchange for $66 million.

The Barnett transaction involves about 215,000 acres and 2,800 operated wells, which produced an average of about 65,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in the second quarter. Proven Barnett reserves are about 81 million barrels of oil equivalent.

Chesapeake CEO Doug Lawler says exiting Barnett will increase operating income through 2019 by up to $300 million a year.