Continental Resources suing Chesapeake Energy over stalled land deal

Continental Resources Inc. has filed a breach of contract lawsuit against Chesapeake Energy Corp. over a failed land deal.
BY JAY F. MARKS jmarks@opubco.com Published: February 10, 2011
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Two of Oklahoma's largest oil and natural gas companies are feuding over an aborted $28 million land deal in Michigan.

Enid's Continental Resources Inc. has filed a breach of contact lawsuit against Oklahoma City's Chesapeake Energy Corp. after the companies failed to complete a deal for Continental's Collingwood acreage.

Continental spokesman Brian Engel declined to comment on the pending litigation, while Chesapeake spokesman Jim Gipson said the lawsuit is the result of an “unfortunate commercial dispute” between the two companies.

The unconsummated deal was struck in June after an e-mail exchange between Continental CEO Harold Hamm and Chesapeake CEO Aubrey K. McClendon.

The lawsuit contends Continental passed up opportunities with other potential buyers when it agreed to sell its Michigan acreage to Chesapeake.

Continental accuses McClendon of failing to disclose that his company had “overcommitted” its land acquisition budget, according to the lawsuit.

Chesapeake has refused to negotiate with Continental since August, when it claimed there were some title defects in the Enid company's leases.

Chesapeake has delayed or refused to complete other purchases in that region as well, the lawsuit states.

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