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Chesapeake cuts 2014 spending by 20 percent

Chesapeake Energy Corporation's 50 acre campus is seen in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, April 17, 2012. REUTERS/Steve Sisney
Chesapeake Energy Corporation's 50 acre campus is seen in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, April 17, 2012. REUTERS/Steve Sisney

(Reuters) - Chesapeake Energy Corp said its capital expenditure for the year would fall about 20 percent as part of CEO Doug Lawler's plan to focus on drilling in U.S. shale basins that offer the best returns such as the Eagle Ford field in south Texas.

The Oklahoma City-based company said it would spend between $5.2 billion and $5.6 billion this year, a 20 percent reduction from the midpoint of Chesapeake's 2013 capital expenditure outlook.

Lawler, who replaced Chesapeake's co-founder and former CEO Aubrey McClendon in June, has pledged to cut costs and debt while growing oil and gas production in the company's most profitable fields.

After adjusting for 2013 asset sales, the company said it expected to generate between 8 percent and 10 percent of year-over-year production growth in 2014.

The company said it expected oil output to rise 8 to 12 percent, natural gas liquids production to increase 44 to 49 percent and natural gas output to climb 4 to 6 percent.

(Reporting By Swetha Gopinath in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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