Slow bankruptcy process for Chesapeake Energy and Unit Corporation


More than a month after Oklahoma City’s Chesapeake Energy filed for Chapter 11, becoming the largest U.S. oil and gas producer to seek bankruptcy in recent years, there are daily filings in the case in the bankruptcy court of the Southern District of Texas.

If one thing is clear, the process is keeping busy dozens of attorneys, those for Chesapeake and those representing the long list of creditors.

The latest two were made Monday as the big oil and gas producers wades through the effort to resolve its $7 billion in debt. Some of the filings are large including one witness list filed by the Official Committee of Royalty Owners—8,219 pages.

A July 31 filing totaled 248 pages and involved an order “authorizing debtors to obtain postpetition financing.” Another filing on the same date involved 353 pages for a “proposed order submission after hearing.”

It was June 28 when Chesapeake Energy filed Chapter 11 with CEO Doug Lawler, stating, “Despite having removed over $20 billion of leverage and financial commitments, we believe this restructuring is necessary for the long-term success and value creation of the business.”

The filing came nearly a year after the company spent $4 billion on an effort to reduce its reliance on natural gas and instead focus more on crude oil production. As a result of the effort, Chesapeake’s value of its oil and gas holdings fell by $700 million in the first quarter of 2020.

Another Oklahoma company, Unit Corporation based in Tulsa continues the slow drawnout process of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy.


Unit filed Chapter 11 May 22 of this year, listing $650 million in debts. Its court case also involves volumes and volumes of court filing including one motion filed by Chieftan that included 1,525 pages.

An exhibit list filed by Cockerell Oil Properties was 263 pages while a filing of a witness list by Unit Corporation was 872 pages.