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Aubrey’s angels

Gazette staff April 1st, 2014

Anyone who feared Oklahoma City native Aubrey McClendon might end up on public relief or in a bread line after being pushed out as CEO of Chesapeake Energy Corp. can rest easy.

Less than a year after his departure, the energy titan has started another company. It has been raising money like gangbusters and is investing heavily in the Utica Shale formation in Ohio.

But investment site The Motley Fool wants to know who keeps giving McClendon money. Fool contributor Tyler Crowe said McClendon’s American Energy Partners, which has not yet gone public, has nonetheless raised almost $3 billion. It has spent hundreds of millions in the Utica play to gobble up acreage and has been paying a premium.

In all, AEP has about 260,000 acres in the Utica, including 74,000 acres it purchased from Hess Corp. for $924 million. The company pays well above what others pay for acreage in that same area, the Fool reported. But AEP said it plans to drill 1,600 oil and gas wells in the Utica play over the next 10 years.

While McClendon may be on to something, the Motley Fool suggested investors instead lean toward Magnum Hunter Resources or Gulfport Energy as a safer bet to invest their Utica dollars.

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