Chesapeake Energy Corporation is a publicly traded petroleum and natural gas provider located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the United States. The company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol CHK. With a mere $50,000 USD investment, the company was originally founded in 1989 as a partnership between Aubrey McClendon and Tom L. Ward.
After the company was organized, immediate success drilling for natural gas led the company to a valuation of $25 million USD. With a desire to put some money in their pockets, McClendon and Ward agreed to take the company public with an initial stock offering in 1993.
While focusing on drilling for natural gas in unlikely areas, the company saw more than its fair share of struggles throughout the rest of the 1990s. By the turn of the century, a spike in natural gas prices sent the company’s value soaring. It enable them to start accumulating land for drilling through purchase or land leases. With a shift towards unconventional drilling in carbonates and shale formations, Chesapeake Energy found themselves on a steady growth pattern that eventually led to the company being incorporated onto the S&P 500 in 2006.
A day after being indicted for possible antitrust violations, McClendon, then CEO, died in a single car collision when he was found in a car that had slammed into a concrete wall. Possible suicide was never fully ruled out. This occurred in March of 2016.
The company’s 4,400 employees are currently led by Robert Douglas Lawler, CEO. For the fiscal year ended in 2015, Chesapeake Energy reported $12.8 billion USD in revenues. With sagging gas prices, they took a major hit, which resulted in a net loss of $14.6 billion USD. As part of its financials, the company reported net assets valued at $17.4 billion USD and Shareholders’ equity of about $2.4 billion USD.