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(REUTERS)

Chesapeake Energy Sells Key Shale Assets, Investors Applaud

Energy Dow Jones Newswires

Chesapeake Energy (CHK) is exiting the Barnett Shale in Texas, which will eliminate about $1.9 billion of future commitments and improve its operating income over the next few years.

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Chesapeake, which noted the "significant negative cash flow profile" of the Barnett assets, said it would convey its Barnett interests to Saddle Barnett Resources LLC, which is backed by private-equity firm First Reserve Corp.

Meanwhile, Chesapeake and Williams Partners LP (WPZ) will terminate a gathering agreement. Chesapeake will pay Williams $400 million in connection with the termination and a renegotiation of an agreement in the Mid-Continent area.

The proposed Barnett transaction includes about 215,000 net developed and undeveloped acres and about 2,800 operated wells.

Chesapeake expects the moves to increase its operating income for the rest of 2016 through 2019 by $200 million to $300 million annually.

Write to Josh Beckerman at josh.beckerman@wsj.com