Chesapeake Energy Interim CEO Confident To Control Spending In 2013

Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK)’s newly appointed interim CEO Steve Dixon reassured investors after departure of Aubrey McClendon that the company’s expenditure won’t exceed its drilling budget of approximately $6 billion.

In his first conference call after assuming the post of Chesapeake chief executive officer, Dixon told investors that the natural gas producer plans to sell assets worth $7 billion this year.

So far, the company has signed deals or sold properties totaling $1.5 billion. The company expects Dixon to regain investor confidence after a series of controversies and lawsuits.

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Chesapeake Energy Interim CEO Confident To Control Spending In 2013

Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) co-founder Aubrey McClendon announced his departure in January after a tumultuous year at the helm. McClendon had a conflict of interest between his corporate duties and personal financial dealings.

He borrowed over a billion dollars from a company that deals with Chesapeake Energy Corporation. His wrongdoings also resulted into two federal probes.

Dixon joined Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) in 1991, and after several promotions he became the COO of the company in 2006. As the second largest U.S. natural gas producer continues to search for a permanent replacement for McClendon, Dixon will become a part of the three-person team established by the company board to lead Chesapeake.

The three-person Office of Chairman also includes the company’s chief financial officer Domenic J. Dell’Osso Jr. and Archie Dunham, non-executive chairman of Chesapeake Energy and former chief of ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP).

Last year, Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) sold assets worth $13-$14 billion to repay debts and recovered its funding gaps. This year, the company has proposed to shed assets worth $7 billion to strengthen its balance sheet.

The declining gas prices, coupled with a liquidity crisis caused by heavy spending, restricted Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK)’s cash flow and forced the company to accelerate the asset sales process.

Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) shares were almost flat at $20.40 at 11:11 AM EDT.