March 2016, Vol. 243, No. 3

Web Exclusive

Federal Officials Say Bid-Rigging Goes Beyond Chesapeake’s Ex-CEO

DALLAS (AP) — As advanced drilling technology opened untapped sources of oil and natural gas, it triggered fierce competition among energy companies to scoop up rights to drill on vast swaths of land across the country. The rush caused lease prices to skyrocket in the most promising fields. In a few cases, gas companies responded by cutting secret deals to rig the bidding and hold down their costs. Federal officials are now investigating to see if these shady practices are more common than believed. The first big indictment of an executive came this week, when former Chesapeake Energy Corp. CEO Aubrey McClendon was charged with conspiring to rig bids for gas leases in Oklahoma from 2007 to

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