And this isnt an Aubrey McClendon profile youre likely to read in The Oklahoman.
The Forbes piece, written by Christopher Helman, starts out with McClendon eating dinner at Deep Fork Grill, which McClendon co-owns, and trying to select a wine. After relaying some of Chesapeakes current market standing and statistics about the company, the profile refers to him as the most admired and feared man in the U.S. oil patch.
And thats where things sort of go from glowing profile to oh-my-gosh-why-did-I-offer-this-journalist-a-dinner-and-wine?
But hes also the most reckless, the alpha wildcatter with an off-the-charts risk tolerance, Helman wrote, pointing to 2008, when the value of Chesapeake shares fell considerably and recounting some of his past articles calling McClendon dangerous and overpaid.
story states that McClendon put a charm offensive on, threw open the
doors to Chesapeake and provided access to company executives,
directors, a former state attorney general and even Oklahoma City Mayor
even unilaterally moved me to a nicer hotel downtown (Forbes picked up
the tab, of course), Helman wrote. He may have changed my room, but
McClendon didnt entirely change my view of his company.
wrote that McClendon doesnt seem to have learned from his near-death
experience, and after recounting some of McClendons career, the 2008
fall and the aftermath, Helman wrote that Chesapeake may still be over
leveraged as it takes on more debt to acquire rights to more land,
enough that it would take the company 30 years to drill on all of it.
value is it to shareholders for Chesapeake to be sitting on gas fields
it wont get around to drilling for a decade or more? Especially when
every year it has to pay interest on the debt it took on to acquire the
acreage. Its like if General Electric built a factory to make LED light
bulbs then just kept it in mothballs, Helman wrote.
When some people compare Chesapeake to Enron, it sends McClendon into a highly insulted rage, Helman wrote.
Gipson, a Chesapeake spokesman, said the company is working with
Forbes to correct a number of errors in the main online story before
they print the magazine.
Stay tuned. Chicken-Fried News will keep you apprised of the corrections.