Energy chat: Layoff rumors are flying at Chesapeake

The Oklahoman's energy team members Adam Wilmoth, Jay F. Marks and Paul Monies fielded questions Tuesday during their monthly online chat.
Published: September 11, 2013
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The Oklahoman's energy team members Adam Wilmoth, Jay F. Marks and Paul Monies fielded questions Tuesday during their monthly online chat. This is an edited transcript of that event. To read the entire chat, or to participate in the next chat, go to NewsOK.com.

Q: What is the newest word on Chesapeake? I know several senior level officials have been let go, but I have heard rumors about layoffs. Any idea of size or scale?

Wilmoth: We know there have been scattered layoffs and contractors have been let go. But the company has not provided details. For a company the size of Chesapeake, it must report if layoffs total 500 in Oklahoma City. No such notice has been given.

Marks: New CEO Doug Lawler talked during Chesapeake's earnings call about streamlining operations at the company, but officials have not offered any specifics since then. Lawler said Chesapeake is undergoing a comprehensive review of its operations, which could result in the company shedding some of its affiliates. Chairman Archie Dunham also hinted at job reductions when he came onto Chesapeake's board last summer. He said Chesapeake would be staffed comparably to similar-sized companies. He mentioned Anadarko and Devon. Both companies had about half as many employees as Chesapeake at that time, despite a much larger market cap.

Q: How is SandRidge faring?

Marks: SandRidge has said it will narrow its focus in the Mississippian oil play to key areas where it already has developed expensive infrastructure.

Wilmoth: SandRidge has spoken highly of its production in the Mississippian in northern Oklahoma. It will be interesting to see what production levels are like in the area over the next few quarters.