Chesapeake says its drilling expected to decline in Barnett Shale

Chesapeake Energy Chairman Aubrey McClendon said Tuesday that the company's level of drilling in the Barnett Shale has probably peaked and should slowly decline over the next decade as the company increases its activity in new fields such as Louisiana's Haynesville Shale.

McClendon spoke during a conference call with financial analysts to discuss the company’s announcement Monday that it is cutting its drilling and development budget by 17 percent in light of lower natural gas prices. Analysts generally applauded the decision and said they expected other producers to follow, although none has made similar announcements.

Asked to detail what changes the reduced drilling budget would bring, McClendon replied that the company is boosting Haynesville drilling and holding steady in Arkansas' Fayetteville Shale.

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