Chesapeake names new CEO

Robert Douglas (Doug) Lawler has been named CEO of Chesapeake Energy Corp., bringing 25 years of experience in the upstream exploration and production industry. His appointment is effective June 17. Lawler, 46, senior vice president of international and deepwater operations at Houston-based Anadarko Petroleum Corp., succeeds Aubrey K. McClendon, who retired from Chesapeake on April 1but agreed to continue as CEO until a successor was appointed. Lawler’s appointment follows a company audit committee finding of no “intentional misconduct” by McClendon. The February news came as Chesapeake received results of a review of financing arrangements between McClendon and third parties identified as having a financial relationship with the company. “Doug is a talented and proven executive with the ideal skill set to lead Chesapeake forward and capitalize fully on our world-class assets,” said Archie W. Dunham, board chairman, commenting in a news release. “Throughout his 25 years in the upstream E&P [exploration and production] industry, Doug has earned a reputation as a highly engaged and knowledgeable leader who delivers superior operational performance and capital efficiency. The board is confident that Doug’s deep technical upstream and engineering expertise as well as his strategic and financial skills will serve Chesapeake well,” Dunham said. Lawler had several senior leadership roles at Anadarko, the nation’s second-largest independent upstream company and with a $45 billion market capitalization. With Lawler assuming the CEO position at Chesapeake, its office of the chairman will be discontinued and Dunham, Steven C. Dixon and Domenic J. Dell’Osso Jr. will continue to serve, respectively, as non-executive board chairman, executive vice president of operations and geosciences and COO, and executive vice president and CFO. “We thank Steve and Nick for the key roles they played in this transition and for their exemplary service as members of the Office of the Chairman during our CEO search,” Dunham said. During Lawler’s 25 years at Anadarko and Kerr-McGee Corp., he had several engineering and leadership positions in a diverse geographic portfolio including U.S. onshore, deepwater Gulf of Mexico and international assets. He was most recently senior vice president, International and Deepwater Operations, and a member of Anadarko’s executive committee. In that capacity, he oversaw new and existing developments, including Anadarko’s multi-train liquid natural gas project in Mozambique. Lawler previously was Anadarko’s vice president of operations for the Southern and Appalachia Region, where he directed the development of four major shale plays: Eagle Ford, Marcellus, Haynesville and Permian Bone Spring-Avalon. Prior to that, Lawler had other positions within Anadarko’s operations, business planning and analysis departments. Lawler is a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, the World Affairs Council and the Houston Museum of Natural Science. He has a bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering from the Colorado School of Mines and an MBA from Rice University. He and his family are relocating to Oklahoma City, where Chesapeake is headquartered. Chesapeake Energy Corp., whose interests include the Barnett Shale in North Texas, develops unconventional natural gas and oil fields nationwide. More information is available at

FTS International, Cabot use natural gas to power fracking FTS International Inc. of Fort Worth and Cabot Oil and Gas Corp. of Houston report success in using natural gas from a producing gas well to power pressure-pumping equipment for a hydraulic fracturing treatment, the process used to break apart rock to procure natural gas. According to FTS, using clean-burning natural gas can displace up to 70 percent of the diesel fuel traditionally used to operate pumping equipment for fracturing. The company cited several benefits of dual fuel technology, in which pressure-pumping engines operate on a mixture of natural gas and diesel fuel. Those benefits are reduced air emissions due to less diesel use, less truck traffic when field gas at or near a well site is used, and reduced costs, with natural gas a less expensive fuel than diesel. “This is a terrific example of the oil and gas industry working together to develop and implement innovative technologies that are both environmentally conscious and operationally efficient,” said FTS CEO Greg Lanham, commenting in a news release. A Cabot official concurred. “Cabot is continually searching for ways to utilize cutting-edge technology during our operations,” said Chairman, President and CEO Dan O. Dinges. “We are already converting our vehicle fleet to run on natural gas and currently have a drilling rig using CNG [compressed natural gas] as well, so the next natural step was to utilize the technology on a hydraulic fracturing site.” To operate with natural gas, FTS’ mobile pressure-pumping unit at the site was retrofitted with a gas-blending kit from Caterpillar Global Petroleum. The system allows substitution of diesel fuel with natural gas during high pressure pumping operations and is compatible with field gas, compressed natural gas and liquefied natural gas. FTS International, formerly Frac Tech International, provides well-stimulation services for the oil and gas industry. More information is available at

Kinder Morgan unit, Mitsubishi sign LNG agreement Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company LLC, a unit of Houston-based Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP, has signed a binding, 20-year transportation shipping agreement with Mitsubishi Corp. of Japan. Under the agreement, Tennessee will ship 600,000 dekatherms per day of natural gas earmarked for the proposed Cameron LNG liquefaction facility in Hackberry, La., which is expected to begin LNG exports in the second half of 2017. A dekatherm is a unit of energy equal to 1 million British thermal units (Btus). Mitsubishi will serve as the foundation shipper for Tennessee Gas’ Southwest Louisiana Supply Project, providing transportation from several supply basins in Texas, Louisiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania to Cameron Interstate Pipeline, which connects directly to the Cameron LNG Terminal. “TGP is pleased to partner with Mitsubishi Corporation, a world-class organization and leader in the energy industry, on this strategic project,” said Kimberly Watson, Tennessee Gas president, commenting in a news release. Watson pointed to her company’s role in connecting key conventional and shale supply areas from the South Texas Eagle Ford Shale to the Utica shale in Ohio and the Marcellus shale in Pennsylvania and access to the Haynesville shale supply area and the Perryville Hub in Louisiana. The Southwest Louisiana Supply Project is designed to provide transportation to the burgeoning southwest Louisiana market. It includes additional interconnections with shale supply, new pipeline laterals and enhancements to Tennessee Gas’ existing pipeline system to allow for bi-directional flow to the region. Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP owns an interest in or operates more than 51,000 miles of pipelines and 180 terminals. Its pipelines transport natural gas, gasoline, crude oil and other products. More information is available at

Summit Midstream announces Bakken crude oil and water gathering start-up Summit Midstream Partners LLC of Dallas has begun operating the Polar Crude Oil and Water Gathering System in the Bakken Shale play in Williams County, N.D. “The start-up of the Polar System is a key milestone for Summit as it diversifies our service offerings and provides much-needed gathering infrastructure in the region,” said Steve Newby, president and CEO of Summit Midstream Partners LLC, in a news release. The Polar System is designed to gather 50,000 barrels of crude oil per day and 25,000 barrels of water per day from the Bakken and Three Forks shale formations in North Dakota. Summit Midstream Partners LLC, a privately held company that owns and controls the general partner of Summit Midstream Partners LP, owns a 69.1 percent limited partner interest in Summit Midstream Partners LP. It focuses on owning and operating midstream energy infrastructure assets in North American shale formations. More information is available at

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Energy Department chooses Texas site for LNG exporting Freeport LNG Expansion LP and FLNG Liquefaction LLC of Houston have been conditionally authorized to export domestically produced liquefied natural gas to countries without free-trade agreements with the United States. Gas will be exported from Freeport’s terminal on Quintana Island near Freeport after the U.S. Energy Department approved Freeport to perform the role. The May 17 announcement came after Freeport received approval to export liquefied natural gas from the facility to free-trade agreement countries in early 2011. Subject to environmental review and final regulatory approval, the facility is conditionally authorized to export up to 1.4 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day for 20 years. The Energy Department granted the first authorization to export liquefied natural gas to non-free trade agreement countries in May 2011 for the Sabine Pass LNG Terminal in Cameron Parish, La., at a rate of up to 2.2 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day. “The development of U.S. natural gas resources is having a transformative impact on the U.S. energy landscape, helping to improve our energy security while spurring economic development and job creation around the country,” reads an Energy Department news release. The Energy Department said it conducted an extensive review of the application to export liquefied natural gas from the Freeport LNG Terminal. Among other factors, the department considered economic, energy security, and environmental impacts, as well as public comments for and against the application.

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