Chesapeake Energy CEO David Lawler. Image courtesy of Chesapeake Energy/Youtube.

Chesapeake Energy has been served with subpoenas and document demands from the U.S. Department of Justice and state agencies tied to a probe into possible anti-trust violations and underpayment for mineral rights.

Chesapeake said in an SEC filing that the document demands are related to “investigations into possible violations of federal and state antitrust laws relating to our purchase and lease of oil and gas rights in various states.”

“Chesapeake has engaged in discussions with the DOJ and state representatives and continues to respond to such subpoenas and demands,” the company said.

Class action lawsuits have been filed against Chesapeake in Virginia and Ohio alleging the company used below-market prices or measurements to calculate royalty payments on natural gas properties.

The company is also contending with a criminal complaint in Michigan tied to alleged bid-rigging with Calgary-based Encana meant to lower lease prices in the Collingwood shale play.

Oklahoma-based Chesapeake will also face trial in Michigan for 21 felony counts for alleged fraudulent cancelling of Collingwood shale leases after it was determined the play would be a bust.

Trial dates for the Michigan cases have not been set yet.

The company said it is confident its legal troubles won’t hit its bottom line.

“Based on management’s current assessment, we are of the opinion that no pending or threatened lawsuit or dispute relating to the company’s business operations is likely to have a material adverse effect on its future consolidated financial position, results of operations or cash flows,” Chesapeake said in the SEC filing.


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