Chesapeake books $15 billion net loss for 2015, slashes budget by 57%

Chesapeake Energy Corp., Oklahoma City, reported planned total capital expenditures for 2016 of $1.3-1.8 billion, 57% lower than the 2015 level.

The firm reported a 2015 net loss of $14.856 billion, compared with earnings of $1.273 billion in 2014. For the fourth quarter, Chesapeake reported a net loss of $2.228 billion, down from earnings of $586 million a year earlier.

Chesapeake says its planned capital program will be dedicated to more completions and less drilling, with total completion spending representing 70% of the company's total drilling and completion program.

Chesapeake plans to place 330-370 wells on production, resulting in total production declines of 0-5% compared with 2015 levels after adjusting for asset sales, including this week’s sale of its remaining western Anadarko basin oil and gas assets (OGJ Online, Feb. 24, 2016).

The firm has made $700 million in completed asset divestitures or signed sales agreements since yearend 2015, and plans an additional $500 million-$1 billion in divestitures in 2016.

“In light of the challenging commodity price environment, our focus for 2016 is to improve our liquidity, further reduce our cost structure and address our near-term debt maturities to strengthen our balance sheet,” explained Doug Lawler, Chesapeake chief executive officer.

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