Oklahoma energy briefs for April 11, 2014

Oklahoma energy briefs for April 11, 2014
Oklahoman Modified: April 10, 2014 at 11:14 pm •  Published: April 10, 2014
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Chesapeake offers senior notes

Chesapeake Energy Corp. on Thursday launched a public offering of $3 billion in senior notes. The company expects the notes to be issued in three separate series, one maturing in 2019, another maturing in 2022 and the last maturing in 2026. Chesapeake intends to use proceeds from the offering to repay debt, including a tender offer for $1.26 billion in senior notes due in 2015.

Chaparral deals to gain $150M

Chaparral Energy Inc. is set to sell its interests in two Texas basins for more than $150 million in cash, according to a regulatory filing. Chaparral disclosed separate deals Thursday with Scout Energy Group I LP and RKI Exploration and Production LLC for its ownership interests in the Delaware Basin and Eastern Shelf/Fort Worth Basin in the filing. The deals are expected to close by May 22. The properties currently produce about 2,300 barrels of oil equivalent a day. Chaparral has been trying to sell properties in different parts of Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas so it can focus on its Mid-Continent operations.

Groups seek to protect bird

Three conservation groups announced a legal challenge Thursday to win full protection for the lesser prairie chicken under the Endangered Species Act. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service last week decided to list the prairie chicken as “threatened,” but Defenders of Wildlife, WildEarth Guardians and Center for Biological Diversity contend special exemptions will allow for ongoing destruction of the bird and its dwindling habitat. The lesser prairie chicken is found in parts of five states, including Oklahoma, but the restrictions in last week’s ruling are expected to minimize its impact on energy production, agriculture and other activity. “This decision is a recipe for further declines of a rare and beautiful bird already teetering on the brink of extinction,” said Jason Rylander, senior attorney with Defenders of Wildlife. “The (wildlife) service has adopted unprecedented and sweeping loopholes that seriously undermine their ability to monitor the implementation and effectiveness of new and inadequate conservation programs, increasing the likelihood of further loss of prairie chickens and further habitat destruction.”

Laredo names new vice president

Laredo Petroleum Inc. this week announced the promotion of Michael T. Beyer to vice president and chief accounting officer. Beyer, who has been with Laredo since 2007, has served as controller since 2012. “Michael has been an integral part of Laredo’s success for many years,” CEO Randy A. Foutch said. “His 11 years of experience in oil and gas accounting has been invaluable as Laredo has grown from a small private company to a publicly traded company with a multibillion dollar market capitalization. We are pleased to have someone with Michael’s expertise to head our accounting activities.”

$1.3M donated to state higher ed

ExxonMobil and its employees are donating $1.3 million to Oklahoma colleges and universities as part of the ExxonMobil Foundation’s matching gift program. The company’s employees, retirees, directors and surviving spouses last year contributed $352,700, which was matched with $913,200 in unrestricted grants from the ExxonMobil Foundation. The program distributed $44 million in 2013 to about 900 institutions nationwide. “The ExxonMobil Foundation has a long history of supporting a range of efforts to improve the quality of education in the United States,” said Suzanne McCarron, president of the ExxonMobil Foundation. “We are proud to build upon the generous support of ExxonMobil employees who are committed to investing in the future of young Americans and supporting institutions of higher learning.” Although grants are unrestricted, colleges and universities are encouraged to designate a portion to math and science programs supporting student engagement.

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