Share “Chesapeake moving jobs to Oklahoma City”

BY RANDY ELLIS Modified: February 27, 2009 at 8:41 am •  Published: February 27, 2009
Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy Corp. Thursday announced it plans to downsize its Charleston, W.Va., regional corporate headquarters to a field office and move many of the top jobs to Oklahoma City.

"Approximately 215 of the current 255 Charleston-based positions will be either moved to Oklahoma City or eliminated, with approximately 40 positions remaining in Charleston as part of the regional field office,” the company said in a news release.

Positions that will be relocated to Oklahoma City include management of Chesapeake’s eastern division land, legal, accounting, information technology, geoscience and engineering departments, the company said.

"We believe that the collaboration afforded by having our teams of landmen, geoscientists, engineers and senior management working in close proximity on our Oklahoma City campus will promote quicker and improved decision-making and improve execution and responsiveness as we move forward with the nation’s highest-potential drilling program,” said Steven C. Dixon, Chesapeake’s executive vice president — operations and chief operating officer.

Tom Price Jr., Chesapeake’s senior vice president of corporate development, said the exact number of jobs that will be moved to Oklahoma City is in flux because numerous employees are considering relocation offers.

"I think the number is going to be substantial,” Price said, adding the reorganization should be completed by June 30.

Company officials cited both anticipated efficiencies and disappointment over the West Virginia Supreme Court’s refusal to hear an appeal of an adverse $404 million jury verdict as factoring in the decision to move.

Chesapeake inherited a role as a defendant in a class-action lawsuit when it purchased Columbia Natural Resources in 2005 for $2.