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Chesapeake Energy to spin off oil field services business

Chesapeake Energy to spin off oil field services business
Doug Lawler, president and chief executive officer of Chesapeake Energy Corp., was appointed after the ouster of former CEO Aubrey McClendon. (F. Carter Smith / Bloomberg)

Chesapeake Energy Corp. said it plans to spin off its oil field services division into a separate publicly traded company.

The news came weeks after the the oil and natural gas producer said it was pursuing strategic alternatives for the division, including a possible sale.

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The Oklahoma City company, which is the second-largest producer of natural gas in the U.S., has been moving to cut costs after a year of upheaval that included the ouster of Chief Executive Aubrey McClendon.

McClendon was ousted in April after a liquidity crisis and governance scandal. He helped pushed the company's debt sky high after years of heavy spending, including on millions of acres of shale land in North America.

McClendon's successor, Doug Lawler, said the company planned to sell assets and slash spending in 2014 by 20%.

The spinoff would slice the company into two businesses -- one concentrating on oil field services and the other on exploration and production. Chesapeake said in a Monday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that the spinoff would enable both companies to more efficiently conduct business and take advantage of opportunities.

The new oil field company will be called Seventy Seven Energy Inc. and will trade under the ticker symbol SSE.

Shares of Chesapeake Energy fell 34 cents, or 1.36%, to $24.69 on Monday.

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