Chesapeake leads energy stock retreat
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) --
Chesapeake Energy (CHK) Chief Executive Officer Aubrey McClendon sent emails about efforts to keep bidding prices low for land in an apparent violation of antitrust laws, according to a Reuters report on Monday.
Shares of Chesapeake fell 8.5% as the worst performer in the S&P 500 (SPX) .
The Reuters story cited internal Chesapeake emails the news agency had seen.
One email from a Chesapeake deputy to McClendon said the company had been in touch with rival firm
An antitrust expert contacted by Reuters said the emails amount to a "red flag" for collusion and market allocation.
Spokesmen for Encana and Chesapeake confirmed they had discussions about a formal joint venture but no agreement was reached.
Shares of Encana fell 4.1%.
Separately, the Wall Street Journal reported that
Among big cap oil firms,
Checking the broad benchmarks in the energy sector, the NYSE Arca Oil Index (XOI) fell 2%, the NYSE Arca Natural Gas Index (XNG) dropped 1.9%. The Philadelphia Oil Service Index (OSX) lost 3.4%, weighed down by a decline of 6.3% by component
Among energy stocks in the deal-making spotlight,
The Houston firm said it'll pay $1.03 billion to buy properties in the Jonah Field in the Green River Basin of Wyoming from BP America Production Company, a unit of
The deal is expected to close by July 31.
The Houston firm said it'll tap into its revolving credit facility to make the purchase. Linn Energy said the acquisition will add about 145 million cubic feet equivalent per day of liquids-rich natural gas production.
The deal will immediately add to Linn Energy's distributable cash flow per unit, plus it offers "significant future drilling inventory."