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Emails outline Chesapeake and Encana’s bid-rigging plans for Michigan shale

 |  June 25, 2012

A special investigation conducted by Reuters uncovered a host of detailed emails outlining bid-rigging details between Chesapeake Energy Corp. and Encana Corp. Chesapeake and Encana are each other’s top rivals in the markets for oil and natural gas.

Emails between the two companies, including missives from Chesapeake CEO Aubrey McClendon, called for arrangements to avoid “bidding each other up” for land auctions in Michigan. The land was in the Collingwood Shale formation. Such arrangements included dividing up the land between the companies and bidding strategies. However, a crucial piece of the conspiracy puzzle is missing: Reuters was unable to find any emails stating that the collusion had been consummated, and it even appeared as if McClendon eventually backed away from the plan.

Chesapeake and Encana had discussed the possibility of forming a joint venture in Michigan in 2010, but no agreement had been reached.

Full content: Reuters


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