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Report: Chesapeake selling Bakken Shale acreage

Jay F. Marks Published: March 1, 2013

Chesapeake Energy Corp. prides itself on having a leading acreage position in most of the United States’ most productive oil and natural gas plays.

But the Oklahoma City-based company is apparently throwing in the towel in the oil-rich Bakken Shale in North Dakota and Montana.

Upstream, an international oil and gas newspaper, reports Chesapeake is selling its entire 427,000-acre position in the Bakken, acknowledging it used flawed geological concepts when it amassed its position there in 2010 and 2011. The article is available only to subscribers, but free two-week trials are available.

Chesapeake, which does not list its Bakken holdings on its website, did not respond to a request for comment from The Oklahoman on Friday.

Chesapeake’s acreage is concentrated in two counties along what is believed to be the southern edge of the Bakken and Three Forks plays, according to Upstream, but the company’s drilling in that area was not fruitful.

Chesapeake’s inability to find oil there has been called the biggest drilling failure in North Dakota since the 1980s, KXNews reported in January.

Chesapeake now acknowledges it does not have the time or money to continue drilling in its Bakken acreage, Upstream reported, citing its review of sales documents.

Chesapeake has been selling assets since last year to overcome a cash crunch. The company, raised more than $11 billion last year, this week announced a joint venture with China’s Sinopec that will bring in another $1 billion for a stake in acreage in northern Oklahoma’s Mississippi Lime play.

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