Chesapeake Energy mulls sale, spinoff of division

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Chesapeake Energy Corp. is considering selling or possibly spinning off its oilfield services unit to help maximize shareholder value.

Chesapeake Energy, based in Oklahoma City, is mainly focused on discovering and developing natural gas and oil assets onshore in the U.S. It says it ranks as the second-largest producer of natural gas and the 11th largest producer of oil and natural gas liquids in the U.S.

Its oilfield services business offers drilling, hydraulic fracturing, oilfield rentals, rig relocation, and fluid handling and disposal. The division had 2013 revenue of about $2.2 billion.

The business, led by Chief Executive Officer Jerry Winchester, owned or leased 115 land drilling rigs and nine hydraulic fracturing fleets.

The oilfield services operations are currently conducted through wholly owned subsidiary Chesapeake Outfield Operating LLC.

Chesapeake Energy shares rose 82 cents, or 3.1 percent, to $27.39 in morning trading Monday. Its shares have risen more than 33 percent over the past year.

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