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Shale Pioneer Chesapeake Plans Bankruptcy as Options Dwindle

  • Company could skip June 15 payment and invoke grace period
  • Driller never fully disentangled from late founder’s legacy
Updated on

Chesapeake Energy Corp. is preparing a potential bankruptcy filing that could hand control of one of the leading lights of the U.S. shale revolution to senior lenders, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The dwindling options for a powerhouse that once rivaled Exxon Mobil Corp. for title of king of American natural gas comes after Chief Executive Officer Doug Lawler’s 7-year effort to untangle the financial and legal legacies of Chesapeake’s late founder, Aubrey McClendon.