Chesapeake Energy is like a real life Dallas. You know, the late 1970’s TV show that introduced America to televised family drama between the battling Ewing brothers. Chesapeake Energy may not have two brothers at each other’s throats but it has seen its share of drama in recent years as a power struggle between cofounder, Aubrey McClendon, and activist investor, Carl Icahn, resulted in McClendon’s ouster. On March 2, 2016, Aubrey McClendon is believed to have taken his own life by driving his truck into a wall at high speed after being indicted for bid rigging.
The move to force Aubrey McClendon out of the company he founded and the forerunner of shale oil exploration and production appears to have done little to save Chesapeake Energy. The Wall Street Journal reports that 2017 will see an increased wave of bankruptcy filings in the energy sector due to the game of chicken that is playing out between Mideast oil countries and the United States. In February, 2016, Chesapeake Energy denied reports that it is preparing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Instead it insisted the company was only exploring “balance sheet options.” Despite this denial, the prognosis for the company, along with dozens in the energy sector, continues to go from bad to worse. It has been reported that as much as 35% of public oil companies could face bankruptcy.
As I have previously addressed, there is no question that ultimately this will affect the men and women who go to work daily in this industry. Layoffs will be inevitable which will make it hard for working families to meet their monthly obligations. If you have been affected by the downturn in the oil and gas industry and are struggling to make ends meet, a bankruptcy filing now rather than later may provide needed relief. Please contact one of our locations nearest you in Alabama, Mississippi or Tennessee for a free, confidential consultation with one of our experienced, licensed attorneys.
Carla M. Handy is the Managing Partner of the Bond & Botes Law Offices in Gadsden and Anniston, Alabama. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Auburn University, and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Alabama School of Law. She has been helping families navigate consumer bankruptcy cases since 1994.Read her full bio here.