Chesapeake Energy Company History Timeline


The company was founded in 1989 by Aubrey McClendon and Tom L. Ward with a $50,000 initial investment.


1993 — Chesapeake goes public, and the stock soars over next few years as the company successfully employs horizontal drilling and fracking to produce huge amounts of natural gas.

In 1993, the company became a public company via an initial public offering, valuing the company at $25 million.


In 1997, the company wrote down the value of its assets by over $200 million, approximately equal to shareholder's equity at the time, due to low commodity prices and implemented a turnaround plan.


2000 — Chesapeake begins building new, Georgian-style brick buildings in Oklahoma City as it continues headquarters expansion.


Ward left the company in 2006 to establish SandRidge Energy.


2008 — Slumping energy prices amid an economic collapse force McClendon to sell nearly all his Chesapeake stock.

In 2008, the company announced its discovery of the Haynesville Shale in East Texas and northwestern Louisiana.


In 2009, the company partnered with Orange County Choppers to create the first chopper powered by compressed natural gas.


In June 2012, in response to shareholder concerns about corporate governance issues under McClendon's watch, the company appointed Archie W. Dunham as chairman, while Aubrey McClendon remained CEO.

In December 2012, the company sold midstream assets for $2.16 billion.


In May 2013, Robert Douglas Lawler, an executive of Anadarko Petroleum, was named CEO of the company.

In 2013, Chesapeake sold 55,000 net acres in the Northern Eagle Ford Shale and 9,600 net acres in the Haynesville Shale to EXCO for aggregate proceeds of $1 billion.


2014 — Chesapeake has 10,800 employees, about half of whom leave the company as it sells off a subsidiary during a global price collapse.

In 2014, the company also sold additional midstream assets for $520 million.


In September 2015, the company announced layoffs of hundreds of people in Oklahoma City.


On March 2, 2016, former CEO and co-founder Aubrey McClendon died in a single-occupant single-vehicle crash when he drove his vehicle directly into a concrete bridge embankment in Oklahoma City.


In 2017, the company sold assets in the Haynesville shale for $465 million.


In 2018, Lawler's compensation was $23 million.


In February 2019, the company acquired Texas oil producer WildHorse Resource Development for $4 billion in cash and stock.


In June 2020, the company filed for bankruptcy protection with $7 billion in debt.


In April 2021, the company announced that Doug Lawler, CEO, would be stepping down at the end of the month.

After emerging from bankruptcy, the company regained modest favor in the stock market by May 2021.

In November 2021 Chesapeak completed the acquisition of Vine Energy.


In January 2022, it was announced Chesapeake Energy will acquire Chief Oil & Gas for $2,6 billion.

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How Old Is Chesapeake Energy?

Chesapeake Energy is 34 years old.

Who Is The Founder Of Chesapeake Energy?

Aubrey McClendon and Tom Ward founded Chesapeake Energy.

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