Chesapeake Energy Shares Rally on Spending Reduction Plans

Chesapeake Energy Corp said on Tuesday it plans to stop spending heavily on land and sell $4 billion to $5 billion in assets next year as it shifts strategy from land acquisition to land development.

Investors, responding to planned changes at the company, pushed shares up more than 10%.

On a conference call with analysts, Chesapeake said spending on new acreage is winding down as the company wraps up leasing in Ohio's Utica shale.

"(Spending) will continue to drop off quite dramatically," Aubrey McClendon, the chief executive told investors.

Next year, the U.S. oil and gas company will spend about $100 million per quarter on land acquisition, down sharply from nearly $1 billion in the first quarter, the executive said.

Shares of Chesapeake were up $1.80 at $19.50 on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting By Anna Driver; editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Jeffrey Benkoe)