Chesapeake asset deals going as planned: CEO

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla., Thu Sep 6, 2012 – Chesapeake Energy Corp. will sell up to $14 billion in assets by the end of the year as planned, with proceeds targeted to debt reduction, the company’s chief executive said on Thursday.

The Oklahoma City company also needs to sell some of its oil and gas interests to fill a funding gap that Barclays analysts estimate at $4 billion in 2013.

“About $13 to $14 billion in sales remains our goal for the year,” Chesapeake CEO Aubrey McClendon told investors at the Barclays energy conference in New York. “We should be a cash generator this year as a result of our asset sales.”

By the end of the third quarter, Chesapeake will have announced nearly $12 billion in assets so far this year. That figure includes the sale of most of the company’s 1.5 million acres in the Permian Basin and its midstream business, McClendon said.

But the Permian deals might not close in the third quarter as previously planned.

“There will probably be some spillover in the fourth quarter,” the executive said.

McClendon declined to provide more detailed status updates on its planned deals.

Shares of Chesapeake rose to $19.65 in premarket trading, up from Wednesday’s New York Stock Exchange close of $19.54.