Chesapeake Energy Corp. has named Anadarko Petroleum vice president Robert Douglas Lawler as its new CEO, the Oklahoma City company said Monday.
Lawler, 46, will begin at Chesapeake on June 17.
Lawler is senior vice president of international and deepwater operations for the Houston-based energy company that in 2006 bought Oklahoma City-based Kerr-McGee Corp.
“I am honored and excited to be joining Chesapeake Energy with its unparalleled asset portfolio, focused management team and very talented and dedicated employees,” Lawler said in a statement Monday. “There is significant value in Chesapeake’s asset base and the growth potential of the company is tremendous. I look forward to accelerating the momentum that the Chesapeake team has built to generate value for our shareholders in the years ahead.”
Lawler is a petroleum engineer with 25 years of experience in the upstream exploration and production industry.
“Doug is a talented and proven executive with the ideal skill set to lead Chesapeake forward and capitalize fully on our world-class assets,” Chesapeake Chairman Archie Dunham said. “Throughout his 25 years in the upstream E&P industry, Doug has earned a reputation as a highly engaged and knowledgeable leader who delivers superior operational performance and capital efficiency. The Board is confident that Doug’s deep technical upstream and engineering expertise as well as his strategic and financial skills will serve Chesapeake well. We look forward to working with him to create value for Chesapeake shareholders.”
With Lawler assuming the CEO position at Chesapeake, the Office of the Chairman will be discontinued, and Dunham, Steve Dixon and Nick Dell’Osso will continue to serve in their roles as non-executive chairman, executive vice president of operations and geosciences and chief operating officer, and executive vice president and chief financial officer, respectively.
“We thank Steve and Nick for the key roles they played in this transition and for their exemplary service as members of the Office of the Chairman during our CEO search,” Dunham said. “The company did not miss a beat during this interim period, and their effective collaboration reflects their strong leadership skills and teamwork ethic. Steve, Nick, and the rest of the executive group, under Doug’s leadership, will form a highly talented and experienced management team that will lead Chesapeake into its next phase of success and prosperity.”
Craig Wright was one of the most ardent advocates for compressed natural gas I’ve ever met.
CNG Interstate got its start in Utah, but quickly established a foothold in Edmond. Last year, Wright told me the business had grown by about 500 percent in less than a year.
We’ve talked a number of times since then, each time making it clear that Wright truly believed natural gas was a viable alternative to gasoline and diesel.
Nothing proves that more than our last visit, when Wright showed off a 23-foot ski boat he had modified to run on natural gas.
He had hoped to get the Malibu Wakesetter on the water shortly after our visit in late March, but he was confident it would meet expectations.
Wright also talked excitedly about his plans to use CNG in recreational vehicles to create a fuel-efficient rental fleet for adventure-seeking travelers.
It sounds like a workable plan, but someone else will have to make it work now.
I hope it happens.
I’d like to take a trip in CNG-fueled RV someday.
ALSO: Wright is survived by his wife and five children, with one more on the way. Friends are raising money to help support the family as it copes with its loss.
I have stumbled across websites for two more new companies that former Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon has formed, Arcadia Capital LLC, and McClendon Energy Partners LP. You can read more here about about McClendon’s new exploration and production company American Energy Partners LP, which is now hiring.
On its website, Arcadia Capital describes itself as a “family office that manages investments in oil and natural gas, real estate development and venture capital.”
Will McClendon will use Arcadia Capital to manage his personal investments? You can read more here about family offices.
McClendon’s personal holdings are extensive, including a 283-acre tree farm in Arcadia, a $70 million stake in ProCure Treatment Centers, Inc., a 19 percent interest in the Oklahoma City Thunder, as well as several restaurants and real estate development projects.
McClendon Energy Partners remains something of an enigma. There’s nothing to see on the website but a blurry shot of McClendon’s torso and gesturing hands.
Somebody out there knows more. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oklahoma City oilman Harold Hamm still thinks the number is far too low.
The government now says the world’s fastest-growing oilfield likely holds about 7.4 billion barrels of undiscovered oil that can be recovered with today’s technology.
The number is 49 times more than its 1995 forecast of 151 million barrels of recoverable oil. By 2008 the geological survey revised its estimate to 3.7 million barrels.
Oklahoma City-based Continental Resources Inc. was one of the first developers in the area and now has a hand in about 20 percent of the wells drilled so far.
Continental Resources in 2010 estimated the field contains 24 billion barrels of technically recoverable oil out of 577 billion barrels of total oil in place.
Last year, the company bumped up its total oil estimate by 56 percent to 903 billion barrels.
Continental Resources and other producers in the area are now producing oil from at four different rock layers and continue to improve drilling techniques in the area.
“The Bakken continues to get bigger, as large fields around the world have always done,” Rick Bott, Continental’s president and chief operating officer, said at the company’s investors day in October.
Domestic crude oil production has increased rapidly over the past five years, reversing half a century of declines.
At the same time, there has been increasing discussion about the country’s renewable energy potential.
“Our US of Energy map is intended to be a conversation starter — an opportunity to begin telling the awesome, positive story of America’s domestic energy revival,” Blake Jackson, vice president of digital at Saxum, said on the company’s blog.
A Saxum team spent five weeks researching and crafting the design before putting everything together.
“What began as a simple graphic showcasing America’s energy riches quickly grew into a two-sided, folded map concept displaying thousands of individual data points,” Jackson said.
Oklahoma State University held its 7th Annual Energy Conference on Tuesday in Oklahoma City, and our man Jay F. Marks (@okenergybeat) was a tweeting machine. You can read his dispatches below and check out Energy Editor Adam Wilmoth’s recap of the conference here. For the speaker presentations, go here.
One of former Chesapeake Energy Corp.’s CEO Aubrey McClendon’s new companies, American Energy Partners LP, now has its website up.
There’s not much to see now, but from the looks of things McClendon is starting a new exploration and production company.
I wrote McClendon an e-mail at his new American Energy Partners e-mail address asking if he was willing to discuss his new venture with me. Promptly and politely, McClendon wrote back and said he was not ready to talk and probably wouldn’t be any time soon.
Click here for more on McClendon’s new ventures: American Energy Partners, McClendon Energy Partners and Arcadia Capital.
Canadian billionaire Prem Watsa is SandRidge Energy Inc.’s largest shareholder. His Fairfax Financials held about 12.7 percent of SandRidge’s outstanding stock as of February.
Watsa, who is known as the Canadian Warren Buffett, was largely silent during the Oklahoma City oil company’s proxy fight with TPG-Axon Capital, which ended last month with the hedge fund gaining a foothold on SandRidge’s board while pushing CEO Tom Ward toward the door.
Watsa wasn’t too optimistic about the company’s future when he talked to an investor about SandRidge recently at Fairfax Financials’ annual shareholder meeting in Toronto.
“It’s unfortunate, but we think that TPG is just going to flip it and sell it,” he said. “I mean yeah, we are going to make money on this, but we think that if Tom stayed in and grew value into the business, we think it could be worth 20-something a share.”
SandRidge was trading for less than $5 a share on Tuesday.
Watsa repeatedly expressed his support for Ward, whom he called an “amazing individual.” He praised Ward’s accomplishments at SandRidge and as co-founder of Chesapeake Energy Corp. with Aubrey McClendon.
“The man grew up living and breathing oil and gas. He helped built two great empires all from nothing,” he said. “We were really disappointed, because we knew that Tom could realize significant amounts of the assets. While we did disagree a little on the compensation, we think that Tom is great.”
The Fairfax team believes TPG-Axon ignored the long-term value of SandRidge’s holdings in the oil-rich Mississippian play as it pushed for control of the company, contributor Wilson Wang wrote for investment research site Seeking Alpha. Fairfax also is bullish on natural gas.
Just two weeks after leaving Chesapeake Energy, former CEO Aubrey McClendon appears to be moving full steam ahead with multiple new business ventures, at least two of them energy related.
As The Oklahoman first reported, McClendon has leased out the sixth floor of the Harvey Parkway building at 301 NW 63, just a few blocks away from Chesapeake’s main campus. He also has registered at least two new companies in the state of Oklahoma, Arcadia Capital LLC and McClendon Energy Operating LLC.
The entity American Energy Partners LP was also registered on the same day as McClendon Energy Operating by the law firm of former Chesapeake Energy director and long-time McClendon friend Shannon Self, records show.
All three companies have hung out their shingles at the Harvey Parkway.
I paid a visit to the Harvey Parkway building Friday afternoon and spotted fresh paint in the parking lot. All of prime parking spots at the Harvey Parkway are now reserved for Suite 600 and American Energy.
Inside, a new flat-screen TV by the elevator notes that Arcadia Capital, McClendon Energy Partners and American Energy Partners are all headquartered in suite 600. Renovations are still ongoing on the sixth floor, but there is an office with the lights on just to the right of the elevator staffed with a receptionist.
McClendon & Co. is open for business, it seems.
McClendon also is taking some of the talent from Chesapeake with him, including Tom Price, a senior vice president who is leaving the company in May.
Will suite 600 at the Harvey Parkway give birth to Chesapeake 2.0? Only time will tell.
Faced with a lingering cash crunch, Chesapeake Energy Corp. is looking to sell up to $7 billion in assets this year.
The company has added close to 100,000 acres in Ohio’s Utica Shale to the properties it has listed with broker Meagher Energy Advisors. Chesapeake last summer listed more than 330,000 net acres in the area.
Chesapeake is refining its focus as it tries to rein in its budget and reduce drilling costs, acting CEO Steve Dixon said in a conference call last week.
Dixon said many of the assets Chesapeake will sell this year will be smaller acreage packages.
We are particularly pleased with the market’s response to the multiple small asset packages that we have offered,” he said. “Many of these assets may not be individually noteworthy to investors, but in aggregate, the combined value that we anticipate collecting this year will likely be very meaningful and lead to further progress in improving our balance sheet.”
The latest Ohio assets to hit the market include about 94,000 acres in Portage and Stark counties.