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March 24, 2015

Low commodity prices force Chesapeake Energy to reduce 2015 capital budget

Chesapeake Energy has reduced its 2015 capital budget from $3.5bn to $4bn for 2015 due to a low commodity price environment.

Chesapeake Energy has reduced its 2015 capital budget from $3.5bn to $4bn for 2015 due to a low commodity price environment.

The move is a $500m reduction from the company’s earlier range of $4bn to $4.5bn.

The company aims to operate 25 to 35 rigs in 2015, a decrease of around 55% from an average of 64 rigs in 2014.

"In response to continued weak commodity prices, we are further reducing capital expenditures and associated drilling activity."

Chesapeake plans to drill and connect around 520 and 650 gross operated wells in 2015, compared to 1,175 and 1,150 wells in 2014.

It is lowering its targeted 2015 production from 231 to 236 million barrels of oil equivalent, which represents 1% to 3% production growth over the prior year, after adjusting for 2014 asset sales.

Chesapeake Energy chief executive officer Doug Lawler said: "In response to continued weak commodity prices, we are further reducing capital expenditures and associated drilling activity.

"As a result, we now forecast ending 2015 with approximately $6 billion in combined cash and borrowing capacity under our credit facility. With this budget revision we anticipate being free cash flow neutral by the end of 2015."

Chesapeake is focused on discovering and developing its large and geographically diverse oil and natural gas resource base.

The company currently produces over 700,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, a 48% increase since 2010.

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