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Aubrey McClendon Expands Empire With Oklahoma Pipelines

Aubrey McClendon, the U.S. shale wildcatter who’s raised $10 billion in capital since getting fired from Chesapeake Energy Corp. last year, acquired a stake in an Oklahoma pipeline project.

An affiliate of McClendon’s American Energy Partners LP contributed natural gas lines in exchange for a minority interest in Tall Oak Midstream LLC’s planned 250-mile (1,600-kilometer) pipeline and processing network, Oklahoma City-based Tall Oak said in a statement today.

McClendon’s company also dedicated drilling prospects spread throughout six Oklahoma counties to the new network, according to the statement. Casey Nikoloric, a Tall Oak spokeswoman with the public-relations firm Ten 10 Group, said the size of the acreage commitment wasn’t disclosed.

American Energy, also based in Oklahoma City, has an option to increase its stake to as much as 50 percent. McClendon announced plans on June 18 to expand his growing shale empire into the pipeline business, with backing from buyout firm The Energy & Minerals Group.

McClendon, 54, has been amassing drilling rights from Appalachia to the Great Plains since forming American Energy during the waning days of his quarter-century reign at Chesapeake. On June 9, American Energy announced its largest deal so far with the $4.25 billion acquisition of prospects in West Virginia, Ohio and Texas.

(An earlier version of this story was corrected after a spokeswoman for the company said the statement incorrectly described McClendon’s acreage dedication.)

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