Reuters: Encana Tipped Off Chesapeake to Land Plans in Michigan

Rival natural gas producers Encana Corp. and Chesapeake Energy Corp. shared sensitive information concerning Michigan land deals that allowed Chesapeake to alter its strategy and gain an upper hand in talks with Michigan land owners, Reuters reported Wednesday, citing documents and emails it reviewed.

Emails show that Encana and Chesapeake traded information about Encana's plans on halting new land leasing in Michigan in 2010, and the information allowed Chesapeake to change its own leasing strategy in weeks following that helped cause Michigan land prices to drop dramatically from record highs, the report said.

The two companies are currently under review by the Justice Department and Michigan authorities over possible violations of federal and state laws through their discussions about land prices in the state, Reuters said.

Chesapeake declined to comment to Reuters on its discussions with Encana.

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Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.


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Warren Oxner | Jul. 13, 2012
Sounds like Encana. Theyre a bunch of the most ignorant, arrogant people youll ever meet. When it looked like someone was trying to sabatoge a couple of their wells in northern Alberta the police were running all around tripping over themselves trying to hang it on a certain individual, hell it could have been 1 of hundreds of people.

J. Tilson | Jul. 12, 2012
I dont know the details of this situation but the O&G industry has had scout assoications for decades that share information. Most of the activity of a public company is released in the annual or quartley reports. I would think that between the two sources any company could piece together competitive data. I know the land and minerals owners also meet to share information on the deal terms so its a two way street. I am not a lawyer so I cant opine on whats legal and whats not, just stating what actually happens on the street.

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