Chesapeake Energy Emerges from Chapter 11
Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NASDAQ: CHK) has announced that it has successfully concluded its restructuring process and emerged from Chapter 11.
The reorganized business, which equitized around $7.8 billion of debt, permanently eliminated over $1 billion in annual cash costs from 2019 levels, has an anticipated cumulative free cash flow of more than $2 billion over the next five years, and is targeting a long-term net debt to EBITDAX ratio of less than one.
The company now has a capital reinvestment strategy of 60 to 70 percent of cash flow and a commitment to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) direct emissions by 2035. Chesapeake also has new board of directors, which was said to be nominated by long-term value-focused equity holders. The new board includes chairman Michael Wichterich, Timothy S. Duncan, Benjamin C. Duster, Sarah Emerson, Matthew M. Gallagher, Brian Steck and Doug Lawler.
Chesapeake’s average daily production for the fourth quarter of last year was approximately 435,000 barrels of oil equivalent. The company expects its full year 2021 average daily production to be approximately 427,000 barrels of oil equivalent.
“We have fundamentally reset our business, and with an improved capital and cost structure, disciplined approach to capital reinvestment, diverse asset base and talented employees, we are poised to deliver sustainable free cash flow for years to come,” Doug Lawler, Chesapeake’s president and chief executive officer, said in a company statement.
“Additionally, our unwavering resolve to leading a responsible energy future has never been greater, and our pledge to achieve net zero GHG direct emissions by 2035, eliminate routine flaring on new completions immediately, and significantly reduce our methane and GHG emission intensity by 2025, place Chesapeake on a path toward setting a new standard of environmental excellence in our industry,” he added.
Michael Wichterich, the chairman of Chesapeake’s board of directors, said, “the new board of directors and I look forward to working with Doug and the entire Chesapeake team to build an enduring enterprise which creates sustainable value for our stakeholders by efficiently producing low-cost energy under the strictest environmental, social, and governance standards”.
“As we look ahead, maintaining the strength of our balance sheet, our cost leadership position, and our steadfast commitment to delivering consistent returns, while lowering our emissions profile will be paramount to our success,” he added.
Chesapeake voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court on June 28, 2020. In a dedicated restructuring page on its website, the company noted that this was not an easy decision, but a necessary one, “given our legacy debt and contractual obligations”.
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