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Chesapeake Energy oil and gas exploration summary

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Report summary

Chesapeake is in the midst of a transformation in strategy, from a company focused on acquiring and holding land, to one intent on delivering value with every well. A petroleum systems-based approach to identifying new opportunities on its vast U.S. Lower 48 acreage is now in effect, led by using enormous amounts of in-house well and seismic data. Over the past decade, the company has accumulated large acreage positions, funded through joint ventures, asset sales, debt accumulation and alternative financing. Despite a heavy focus on farm-outs and divestments, Chesapeake retains a large inventory of proved reserves in some of the most prolific resource plays in North America. Full-cycle returns over the decade were 11%, somewhat dampened by Chesapeake's initial focus on gas plays. The switch to liquids-rich plays, the emphasis on unlocking opportunities on existing acreage and the use of new drilling and completion techniques, all point to a future with healthier value creation.

What's included

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    Chesapeake Energy oil and gas exploration summary

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Table of contents

  • Executive summary
    • Upstream strategy
    • Evolution of exploration strategy
  • Investment and costs
  • Reserves and resources
  • Production
    • Casting a wide net to gain first mover advantage in shale gas
    • Value negatively impacted by gas-weighted portfolio
    • Well-timed partnerships and divestments add value

Tables and charts

This report includes 18 images and tables including:


  • Organic unconventional discoveries 2007-2016
  • Exploration & appraisal spend and reinvestment
  • Exploration & appraisal spend by water depth
  • Exploration & appraisal spend by basin maturity
  • Discovery costs by water depth
  • Volumes discovered by year
  • Volumes discovered by water depth
  • Volumes discovered by country
  • Volumes discovered by basin
  • Production from new field discoveries and organic unconventionals, and as a proportion of all future production
  • Full cycle value creation by year, including unconventionals
  • Exploration returns by year, including unconventionals
  • Costs and development value by reserve category
  • Exploration returns by water depth


  • Ten year performance summary
  • Key organic unconventional plays (2007 to 2016)
  • Full-cycle economics
  • SWOT grid

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