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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
04/01/201514:58:21Earthquake Case Could Doom Fracking in Oklahoma
04/01/201509:10:34Chesapeake chairman buys 1M shares worth nearly $14M
03/31/201513:15:25Investors Look for Gems in Rubble of Crude's Collapse
03/30/201510:10:02Carl Icahn Using Chesapeake As A Bet On Oil Prices
03/26/201507:37:57Oil: The Bottom Is In And It Is Time To Add Stocks
03/24/201517:06:48MARKET SNAPSHOT: S&P 500, Dow Erase Gains In Choppy Trade
03/24/201517:01:25MARKET SNAPSHOT: U.S. Stocks Struggle To Push Higher Amid Stronger...
03/24/201515:12:46MARKET SNAPSHOT: U.S. Stocks Push Higher Amid Stronger Data
03/24/201510:48:07MARKET SNAPSHOT: U.S. Stock Futures Pare Gains As Dollar Bounces...
03/24/201510:23:30MARKET SNAPSHOT: U.S. Stock Futures Push Higher After CPI
03/24/201507:51:53MARKET SNAPSHOT: U.S. Stock Futures Higher Amid Dollar Retreat;...
03/24/201506:31:21Wall Street Breakfast: China Growth Worries Surface Again
03/24/201506:05:37MARKET SNAPSHOT: U.S. Stocks: Futures Wary Ahead Of CPI As A...
03/24/201506:00:00Chesapeake Granite Wash: Risky Bet Even If Energy Prices Rebound
03/23/201518:13:22Icahn increases Chesapeake Energy stake to nearly 11%
03/23/201516:30:00Chesapeake Energy Corporation Updates Its 2015 Operating Plan...
03/22/201519:38:50U.S. Oil Export Ban: Are There Reasons Not To Repeal?
03/21/201511:00:09What Happens to Natural Gas Stocks if Cheap Gas is Here to Stay?
03/20/201505:35:56Portfolio Strategy And Asset Allocation Based On Algorithms
03/19/201509:09:52Chesapeake Energy cut to Underperform from Neutral at Sterne...

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