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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
02/09/201617:02:00MARKET SNAPSHOT: U.S. Stocks End Flat After Seesaw Session Amid...
02/09/201616:56:00MARKET SNAPSHOT: U.S. Stocks End Flat After Seesaw Session Amid...
02/09/201615:50:00MARKET SNAPSHOT: U.S. Stocks Turn Positive As Materials, Health...
02/09/201613:25:00MARKET SNAPSHOT: U.S. Stocks Retreat, Led By Energy Sector, As...
02/09/201610:59:00MARKET SNAPSHOT: Tech Stocks Gain, Energy Plays Drops As Benchmarks...
02/09/201610:16:00MARKET SNAPSHOT: U.S. Stocks Struggle To Push Higher Amid Global...
02/09/201603:02:00Chesapeake Woes Rattle Pipeline Partners
02/08/201620:14:00Chesapeake Says It Doesn't Plan to Pursue Bankruptcy -- 3rd Update
02/08/201617:19:00Chesapeake Says It Doesn't Plan to Pursue Bankruptcy -- 2nd Update
02/08/201616:42:00Dow Pares Losses to End Volatile Session Off 1.1%
02/08/201616:22:00Stocks Pare Losses Ahead of Closing Bell
02/08/201613:30:00Chesapeake Says It Doesn't Plan to Pursue Bankruptcy -- Update
02/08/201613:21:00Stocks Sink as Bank, Energy Shares Tumble
02/08/201612:53:00MARKET SNAPSHOT: Stocks Battered Again; S&P On Track For Lowest...
02/08/201612:20:00Chesapeake Says It Doesn't Plan to Pursue Bankruptcy
02/08/201612:10:00Chesapeake Says It Doesn't Plan to Pursue Bankruptcy
02/08/201611:35:00MARKET SNAPSHOT: Stocks Drop On Global Growth Fears; Dow Down...
02/08/201611:18:00Chesapeake Energy Corporation Statement
02/08/201611:02:00MARKET SNAPSHOT: U.S. Stocks Tumble To 22-month Low As Energy...
02/03/201608:00:00Chesapeake Energy Corporation Provides 2015 Fourth Quarter And...

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