Chesapeake Energy Corp. is back in business with its former CEO, the company revealed in its annual proxy statement.
Chesapeake is leasing seven drilling rigs to Aubrey McClendon’s American Energy Partners LP, according to Thursday’s filing.
American Energy has offered little detail about its operations as it built up a leading acreage position in Ohio’s Utica Shale over the past year. The Oklahoma City-based company reached its first agreement with Chesapeake for land drilling services on Oct. 16, signing a six-month contract for a single rig at $23,500 a day, the report states.
Two weeks later, the companies entered into separate two-year drilling contracts for six more rigs. American Energy will pay $26,000 a day for each rig when they are operating. Chesapeake said the transactions came after a request for proposal process. Terms are based on prevailing market rates for drilling services in the area.
McClendon’s company declined to comment on the arrangement.
Chesapeake also detailed other dealings with McClendon in its proxy statement.
McClendon has opted to continue investing in every Chesapeake well through June 30, as allowed under the Founder Well Participation Program. He is paying for a 2.5 percent stake in each well.
The company continues to serve as a sponsor of the Oklahoma City Thunder, the NBA team partly owned by McClendon. The team’s downtown arena also bears Chesapeake’s name as part of a naming rights deal that runs through 2023.
Chesapeake has spent about $6.7 million this season on those obligations, despite reducing its commitment for tickets by selling season tickets to company executives, McClendon and former subsidiary Access Midstream Partners LP.
The company has committed to buying tickets and sponsorship benefits during the playoffs. The amount will depend on how many home games the Thunder plays.
Chesapeake also passed its lease on a suite at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, to one of McClendon’s affiliates as it continues to cut costs.
McClendon’s company paid $500,000 to Chesapeake after taking over the lease on Sept. 23. It also will take on the remaining annual lease obligations of $7.5 million.