Chesapeake Energy Corp. (CHK), the second-biggest U.S. natural-gas producer, said Michigan is cherry picking the company’s internal e-mails to suggest its former chief executive officer invited Canadian rival Encana Corp. (ECA) to join in dividing the state’s oil and gas lease bids.
The competitors in March were charged by the state with conspiring to divvy up the counties in which each would seek resource exploration rights before a May 2010 auction, driving bid prices down to $40 per acre from $1,510.
Michigan’s lawyers cited Chesapeake e-mails that included suggestions the two companies “throw in 50/50” on the bids. In a filing yesterday in state court in Cheboygan, the company cited other portions of some of the same e-mails to show the former CEO, Aubrey McClendon, was open to competition.
McClendon told his staff in a June 25, 2010, message that he was determined to “compete and win” on the leases and that Encana “won’t share,” according to the filing. The e-mail exchanges cited show no deal was ever reached with Encana, Chesapeake said.You can read the whole article by clicking here.
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