Chesapeake may dump pipeline network

June 6, 2012 at 7:32 AM

OKLAHOMA CITY, June 6 (UPI) -- Chesapeake Energy may be close to offloading about 4,000 miles of natural gas pipelines to a major infrastructure company, insiders said.

Chesapeake could be considering a sale of its entire stake in Chesapeake Midstream Partners and other assets to Global Infrastructure Partners, a Connecticut company that also has a stake in the pipeline operator, Bloomberg news reports, citing corporate insiders.

Chesapeake Midstream operates an estimated 3,953 miles of pipeline networks.

Carl Icahn, a billionaire investor who has a 7.6 percent share in Chesapeake, said this week that pipeline sales would be among the "cost savings initiatives" he'd seek for the company.

Chesapeake is facing major cash problems because of slumping natural gas prices. Icahn's stake gives him the right to name board directors to Chesapeake in a major shakeup set for later this month.

Chesapeake Chief Executive Officer Aubrey McClendon this week described a major oil discovery in the Texas Panhandle and western Oklahoma as "transformative" for the company.

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