Aubrey McClendon’s American Energy Partners LP has secured about $1.7 billion to buy acreage in Ohio’s Utica Shale, the company announced Wednesday.
Subsidiary American Energy – Utica LLC intends to acquire about 110,ooo acres of leasehold in the southern part of the play and develop additional acreage there.
The company will start drilling operations with one rig before the end of the year. It plans to ramp up drilling to at least 12 rigs over the next couple of years.
McClendon founded American Energy Partners shortly after he was forced out as CEO of Chesapeake Energy Corp., the company he had helped build into the country’s most active driller. The new company’s office is located about half a mile east of Chesapeake’s sprawling campus.
American Energy Partners has lined up about $1.7 billion in equity and debt financing for its Ohio venture.
The lead equity investor in its Ohio venture is The Energy & Minerals Group, the management company for a series of specialized private equity funds. Its lead debt investor is GSO Capital Partners.