Chesapeake Energy To Halt CEO's Well Ownership Plan

 @JosephLazzaro on April 26 2012 9:08 AM

(Reuters) - Natural gas producer Chesapeake Energy Corp said on Thursday it would halt a controversial program that gave company founder and chief executive Aubrey McClendon an ownership stake in its wells.

The company, the nation's second-largest natural gas producer behind Exxon Mobil Corp, said it would not extend the Founder Well Participation Program beyond 2015.

The move comes days after Reuters reported McClendon had borrowed as much as $1.1 billion against his 2.5 percent interest in wells received under that program.

The loans, taken out over the past three years, were previously undisclosed to shareholders, analysts and academics said, raising concerns that McClendon's personal financial deals could compromise his fiduciary duty to Chesapeake.

Shares in the company fell 2.4 percent to $17.70 per share in premarket trading after the announcement.

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