Chesapeake Energy Inc., a highly indebted pioneer of the U.S. shale energy industry, has hired restructuring advisers as the company has been crippled by persistently weak natural gas prices coupled with the recent collapse of oil prices and the repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Oklahoma City-based company has hired law firm Kirkland & Ellis and financial advisers Rothschild & Co. to help manage its $9 billion debt pile while navigating the crisis, people familiar with the matter said.

One of the early movers of the U.S. shale revolution, Chesapeake warned late last year that it was struggling to operate in a low commodities prices environment. Its difficulties were exacerbated by the oil price war sparked in recent days by the confrontation between Saudi Arabia and Russia.

Already have an account? Log In

Thanks for reading Hart Energy.

Subscribe now to get unmatched coverage of the oil and gas industry’s entire landscape.

Get Access