Chesapeake Delays McClendon Inquiry Results, YPF’s Bridas Investment: Energy Business Review

The board of  Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) has yet to release its long-promised report on the hundreds of millions of dollars that Chief Executive Aubrey McClendon borrowed from companies that conducted deals with Chesapeake. Back in June, the firm’s largest shareholder called upon it to conclude an inquiry into McClendon’s financial dealings within “weeks not months.” At the year’s end, Chesapeake says only that the “review is continuing,” while a person close to the board said that the investigation will probably conclude in mid-January

The state-run YPF Sociedad Anonima (NYSE:YPF) will receive a $1.5 billion investment from Bridas International, an oil holding controlled by the Argentine billionaire Bulgheroni brothers, to develop shale oil reserves in Patagonia. The parties will get 60 days to negotiate terms of the deal, which will give Bridas a 50 percent interest in the Bajada Anelo and Bandurria areas in southwestern Argentina, according to a regulatory filing on Friday. A separate documant said that the partnership plans to drill 130 wells. An agreement for YPF to develop shale with Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) was announced earlier in December and is also pending settlement of terms.

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BG Group (BRGXF.PK) said Monday that it has secured a $1.8 billion loan from the Export-Import Bank of the United States.  The loan represents progress in the Group’s funding diversification plans and is also designed to support the export of American services and equipment for the ongoing delivery of the Queensland Curtis LNG project in Australia which is set for first gas output in 2014.

Late Friday, SandRidge Energy (NYSE:SD) fought back against a major shareholder’s drive to supplant its board and amend its bylaws, characterizing the proposal as an attempted coup by a self-interested and uninformed investor. Earlier, TPG-Axon Capital Management, which owns 6.7 percent of SandRidge, filed consent solicitation documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission requesting that  shareholders okay a plan to modify SandRidge’s bylaws and to replace its entire board of directors, including its Chief Executive Tom Ward, claiming that the firm has spent recklessly and incoherently without regard for shareholder value. For its part, SandRidge responded in its own filing called TPG-Axon an “opportunistic investor with short-term interests,” and said that the slate of nominees, including TPG-Axon founder Dinakar Singh, are unfamiliar with the firm’s operations or with the oil and gas production sector.

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