Less than a month after stepping down as the CEO of Chesapeake Energy, Aubrey McClendon has launched a new energy company just down the street from his old office.
McClendon's new venture, American Energy Partners LP, is headquartered on the sixth floor of the Harvey Parkway office building 301 NW 63, about half a mile east of Chesapeake Energy's headquarters.
McClendon declined to talk about his new company on Wednesday, but an email obtained by The Oklahoman shows that he is actively seeking new oil and gas drilling opportunities.
In an email sent to multiple people in the oil and gas business on Tuesday, McClendon wrote that he has founded and serves as the chairman and CEO of American Energy Partners.
McClendon said in the email that American Energy Partners is looking to acquire onshore assets in the United States.
“My goal is to build a substantial E&P (exploration and production) company both through the drillbit and through acquisitions of producing properties,” McClendon said in the email. “In particular, I will be looking for deals with a lot of drilling left on them and will also consider undeveloped acreage deals — plus, I am not scared of natural gas.”
Records filed with the Oklahoma Secretary of State show the company Arcadia Capital LLC was incorporated in January. The entities McClendon Energy Operating LLC and American Energy Partners LP were incorporated on the same day in February.
Building permits show Arcadia Capital began renovations on the sixth floor of the Harvey Parkway building in March.
A new flat-screen television in the lobby of the Harvey Parkway building displays logos for all three companies, all of which are headquartered on the sixth floor. Several parking spaces in front of the building are also marked with fresh paint as reserved for American Energy.
Chesapeake Energy owned the Harvey Parkway office building until December, when it sold it to a local investment group. Construction at the office building is still ongoing, but there is an office staffed with a receptionist on the sixth floor that is now open.
American Energy also has a website, aep-lp.com, although it only displays a photo of a drilling rig and the company logo.
McClendon is bound by noncompete agreement with Chesapeake that bars him for six months from using any insider knowledge from his work at Chesapeake and also prohibits him from any acquisitions or development of oil and gas near leases that Chesapeake holds.
The six-month noncompete period begins when Chesapeake has made all severance payments to McClendon, which is scheduled for Dec. 31, 2016, a source told The Oklahoman earlier this year. McClendon's employment contract also bans him from trying to lure employees or vendors away from Chesapeake for his own gain.
Chesapeake did not respond to requests for comment on Wednesday.