Credit ratings agency Moody's Investors Service on Monday assigned Chesapeake's new notes a Ba3 debt rating, which is three notches below investment-grade.
Moody's also gave the debt a negative outlook.
“The negative outlook highlights our concern regarding the company completing sufficient asset sales this year to both fund its capital expenditures and meaningfully reduce debt,” Moody's said in a statement.
Chesapeake has said it needs to sell $4 billion to $7 billion in assets this year to fully fund its planned drilling program.
“While this funding gap is much lower than 2012, we are concerned that the company may be challenged to sustain its overall production levels as forecast with the lower level of capital investment,” Moody's stated.
Chesapeake in 2012 completed almost $12 billion in asset sales.
Last month, the company announced a $1.02 billion joint venture with Chinese oil company Sinopec International Petroleum Exploration and Production Corp. in the Mississippi Lime of northern Oklahoma and western Kansas.
Chesapeake shares slipped 29 cents, or 1.3 percent, Monday to close at $22.17 on the New York Stock Exchange.