Shale Pioneer McClendon Seeks Global Footprint in Armour Deal



(Bloomberg) -- U.S. shale gas explorer Aubrey McClendon is negotiating a $100 million acquisition of Australian drilling rights in a move that marks the former Chesapeake Energy Corp. chief’s first move overseas.

McClendon’s American Energy Partners LP signed a letter of intent and a three-month exclusivity agreement with Armour Energy Ltd. to acquire a 75 percent stake in 21.5 million acres of drilling rights, Brisbane, Australia-based Armour said in a statement on Thursday.

Terms of the preliminary deal require American Energy to pay Armour as much as $18 million in signing bonuses and to spend $100 million on oil and natural gas drilling over five years.

In his home country, McClendon’s efforts to build a new shale empire since his forced departure from Chesapeake in 2013 have foundered. American Energy has struggled under low energy prices and heavy debts incurred to amass a portfolio that stretches from the Great Plains to Appalachia.

To contact the reporter on this story: Joe Carroll in Chicago at jcarroll8@bloomberg.net; contact the editors responsible for this story: David Marino at dmarino4@bloomberg.net Jim Efstathiou Jr., Bill Banker



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