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Encana Shares Drop on Report of Collusion with Chesapeake

By Edward Welsch Encana Corp. (ECA) shares slid more than 5% Monday following a report alleging the Canadian company colluded with a rival to lower the price of U.S. shale-gas lands up for auction. Shares of the Calgary-based natural-gas producer, the second largest in North America after Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM), dropped as low as 5.4% on the New York Stock Exchange after Reuters reported that, in email exchanges, executives at Encana and rival Chesapeake Energy Corp. (CHK) discussed ways to avoid competing against each other for shale-gas land in Michigan. The report alleged that Encana and Chesapeake agreed to split up shale-gas lands between them before a public auction to avoid creating a bidding war that would drive up the price. If the allegations are true, the report suggested Encana and Chesapeake could be in violation of U.S. anti-trust laws. An Encana spokesman said the company is working on a response to the report and didn't have an immediate comment. The report comes at an inconvenient time for Encana, which is trying to rapidly expand its liquids-rich natural-gas production and offset the low price of natural gas by selling partnership stakes in its shale-gas plays. "To have one of the major plays that is in your [partnership] package to now be scrutinized, that obviously reduces the marketability of those assets," Morningstar analyst Robert Bellinski said. Encana shares were down 4.9% to $18.88 in recent trading. Shares of Chesapeake Energy, the third-largest natural gas producer in North America, fell 7.7% to $17.17. Write to Edward Welsch at edward.welsch@dowjones.com

Stock News for Chesapeake (CHK)
DateTimeHeadline
07/14/201418:23:21U.S. Hot Stocks: Hot Stocks to Watch
06/12/201416:43:41MARKET SNAPSHOT: U.S. Stocks Fall; S&P 500 Down For Third Day
06/12/201414:52:18MARKET SNAPSHOT: U.S. Stocks Fall; Dow In Triple-digit Decline
06/12/201410:29:47MARKET SNAPSHOT: U.S. Stocks Edge Lower; Energy Sector Rallies
06/11/201419:14:44Aubrey McClendon Launches His Post-Chesapeake Comeback
05/28/201420:22:36Oklahoma Governor Signs Bill Raising Energy-Output Tax
05/20/201422:02:19Companies Bet Exposing Hacks Will Help
05/12/201417:58:12Oil Man George Kaiser Proposes Increase in Oklahoma Oil-and-Gas...
05/07/201420:12:46SEC Ends Investigation of Chesapeake Energy Ex-CEO Aubrey McClendon...
05/07/201408:30:12Chesapeake Energy Profit Soars
05/07/201408:04:10Chesapeake Energy Profit Soars, Revenue Jumps 47%
03/05/201421:19:31Chesapeake, Encana Charged With Antitrust Violations -- Update
03/05/201419:10:11Chesapeake, Encana Charged With Antitrust Violations
02/28/201410:01:30Chesapeake Energy to Sell $520 Million in Assets to Exterran...
02/26/201415:57:27Chesapeake Energy Swings to Loss -- Update
02/24/201405:47:09MARKET SNAPSHOT: U.S. Stock Market Is Starting To Ride A Tech...
02/24/201401:57:46Chesapeake Energy Seeks to Spin Off or Sell Oilfield Services...
02/07/201403:07:56Magnolia Petroleum gets Increased Density, Infill Drilling Proposals
02/06/201412:21:56Chesapeake Energy Predicts 2014 Capex Decline
11/15/201309:18:03OZ Management LP 3Q 13F: Largest Purchases -2-

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