Chesapeake Selling Fayetteville Shale

Driller remains committed to Marcellus

Wheeling WV  Intelligencer - 14 February 2011
By Casey Junkins

WHEELING - Chesapeake Energy, the area's largest natural gas driller, plans to sell its Fayetteville Shale assets for a $5 billion profit.

However, company spokesman Jim Gipson said the company remains committed to the Marcellus Shale, a vast region stretching from New York to Tennessee. Chesapeake holds thousands of acres for gas development in the local area, with much of this acreage in Wetzel, Marshall, Ohio and Brooke counties. The company has drilled a myriad of wells in West Virginia's Northern Panhandle, with plans for more in the works.

As part of its 2011-12 strategic and financial plan, Chesapeake has decided to sell all of its Fayetteville Shale assets. If these sales are completed, Chesapeake anticipates that proceeds could exceed $5 billion.

According to the website,, the Fayetteville Shale is a "black, organic-rich rock of Mississippian age that underlies much of northern Arkansas and adjacent states.

The productive wells penetrate the Fayetteville Shale at depths between a few hundred and 7,000 feet below the surface and at elevations of between a few hundred feet above sea level and 7,000 feet below sea level."

Chesapeake the second-largest gas producer in the Fayetteville Shale, pumping approximately 415 million cubic feet of natural gas per day. The company owns approximately 487,000 net acres of leasehold in the shale zone.

Even though Chesapeake seems to be cashing out on its Arkansas play, Gipson said the company has no intention of dropping out of the Marcellus Shale.

"With more than 30 operated rigs in the region, I think we remain very focused on the Marcellus (Shale)," he said.