Chesapeake, StatoilHydro Finalize $3.4B Marcellus Shale JV

Chesapeake has announced the closing of its Marcellus Shale joint venture transaction with StatoilHydro. Chesapeake sold a 32.5% interest in its Marcellus Shale assets in Appalachia for $3.375 billion of consideration and retained a 67.5% working interest. The assets included approximately 1.8 million net acres of leasehold, of which StatoilHydro now owns approximately 0.6 million net acres and Chesapeake owns approximately 1.2 million net acres.

Chesapeake received $1.25 billion in cash from StatoilHydro at closing and will receive a further $2.125 billion from 2009 to 2012 through StatoilHydro funding 75% of Chesapeake’s 67.5% share of drilling and completion expenditures until the $2.125 billion obligation has been funded. Chesapeake plans to continue acquiring leasehold in the Marcellus Shale play and StatoilHydro has the right to a 32.5% participation in any such additional leasehold.

Additionally, Chesapeake and StatoilHydro are evaluating opportunities for their international strategic alliance to jointly explore unconventional natural gas opportunities worldwide.

Aubrey K. McClendon, Chesapeake's Chief Executive Officer, commented, "We are pleased to close our joint venture with StatoilHydro and look forward to creating substantial value for both companies in the years ahead. We are honored to partner with one of the leading international oil and gas companies and are excited about the opportunities to jointly export our world class unconventional natural gas technology for further long-term growth."