Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Chesapeake Goes International

Chesapeake Energy has been hinting about its aspirations to develop shale fields internationally since last year when it signed a joint venture agreements with Norway's StatoilHydro to develop the Marcellus Shale.  News came out today that Chesapeake, Statoil and Sasol Ltd. of South Africa have submitted a bid to explore for shale gas in the Karoo Basin of South Africa.  This would be Chesapeake's first international venture, although we understand that Statoil has set up a learning center overseas to facilitate a "brain drain" of Chesapeake's shale knowledge.  This likely will not be the last announcement of its kind.

This announcement makes me recall a time not that long ago (last year, in fact) when Chesapeake billed itself as the safe natural gas exploration company because it limited its exploration activities to land east of the Rockies, with nothing offshore and nothing international.  I'm sure Statoil and Sasol will bear the economic burden of the partnership, but I am amazed at how far we have come in such a short time. 

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