Chesapeake Energy Corp., the second-largest natural gas producer in the U.S., plans to sell $5 billion in assets to shrink its debt burden.
The Oklahoma City-based company announced Monday that it will sell all of its Fayetteville Shale holdings along with investments in two companies.
After word of the sale broke out, the company’s shares rose as much as 7 percent Monday, Reuters reports.
The Fayetteville shale, a 487,000-acre natural gas field in central Arkansas, will likely appeal to big oil companies, which have recently been showing interest in natural gas.
Chesapeake will also sell its 25.8 percent investment in Frac Tech Holdings LLC and its 20 percent stake in Chaparral Energy Inc.
The new plan aims to clear 25 percent of the company’s debt by 2012.
Chesapeake has previously been active in acquiring natural gas properties all over the country, but low natural gas prices have prompted the company to shift focus to oil.