Chesapeake Energy Corporation’s (NYSE:CHK) CEO Aubrey McClendon has reaffirmed his company’s dedication to natural gas as the fuel of the future. The company is the second largest producer of natural gas in the United States. It also happens to be the most active company in exploration, drilling more wells than any other firm in the industry. McClendon was one of the founders of the company at in 1989. He has been an outspoken advocate of a switch to natural gas for political, economic and environmental reasons. McClendon was appearing at economic forum hosted by the Wall Street Journal that Centered on the environmental risks involved in fracking, a controversial technique for obtaining natural gas reserves.
The fracking controversy is centered on the idea that the process contaminates ground water with pollutants making it dangerous to humans. Youtube is weighed down by videos of people in areas the technique is used lighting their tap water on fire. Despite the controversy there has been no real movement toward regulation and companies still deny the danger.
Chesapeake energy has portrayed itself as an environmentally aware and community involved firm. Earlier this week it was announced that the company was to give $100,000 to residents of several counties in Pensylvania that had suffered from recent flooding. One of the areas, Bradford County was the centre of a fracking controversy last year when Chesapeake Energy lost control of one of its wells which promptly exploded. That explosion left much of the effluent from the fracking site leaking into local reservoirs.
The company announced plans on March 14th to associate with M3 Midstream Inc LLC and EV Energy Partners LP in order to bring a new pipeline to Eastern Ohio. That system is expected to come on stream in the middle of next year. The company continues to expant its reserves of natural gas and its ability to supply it. The low price of the resource suggests an oversupply which is currently being balanced. Statistics show that the number of working rigs has in fact fallen by over 200 since last year pointing to the market’s self correction. Chesapeake’s continued expansion shows that the company is confident the prices will pick up and their future will be ensured. The high prices on oil have served to actually increase the supply of the gas because it is a byproduct on many fields. The associated costs are the same. This movement dissipates at least some of the increase in demand that could be expected.