I first wrote about Chesapeake Energy in 2009, and I’ve written multiple posts about the company since. Founded in 1983 by two Oklahoma landmen, Aubrey McClendon and Tom Ward, Chesapeake grew into one of the largest natural gas producers in the country. During that time the company transformed natural gas production in the US, changing the country from an importer of natural gas to an exporter. Chesapeake also angered its competitors by outbidding them for leases and then used innovative marketing methods to reduce its royalty obligations to its lessors, ending up in multiple cases brought by landowners wherever it did business. Chesapeake’s success was also the germ of its demise; the growth of shale gas production ultimately reduced its price so far that the company was unable to carry its heavy debt burden, and its late effort to shift into oil plays was met with the 2020 oil glut and the COVID-caused reduction in consumption.