Back in August, Nick Dell’Osso made no bones reminding shareholders of the single focus, direction, and long-term strategy of the company he’s led for two years this month—Be LNG Ready. The CEO of Okla. City-based Chesapeake,who took the helm in 2021 upon Chesapeake’s emergence from bankruptcy, could now be close to fully realizing that mantra after going full-bore natural gas this year.

Reese Energy Consulting today is following the latest buzz of a potential acquisition by Chesapeake for Spring, Texas-based Southwestern Energy, both of which operate in Appalachia and the Haynesville. Should a deal come to pass, Chesapeake would eclipse EQT as the nation’s largest natural gas producer by market value. Let’s compare assets. In the Marcellus, Chesapeake operates 465,000 net acres and 2Q production of 1.83 BCFED. Southwestern holds 789,000 net acres in both the Marcellus and Utica and 2Q total production of 275 BCFE. In the Haynesville, Chesapeake with 370,000 net acres and 2Q production of 1.59 BCFED. Southwestern with 501,000 net acres and 2Q total production of 166 BCFE.

Locking up more gas supply is key to Chesapeake’s growing LNG ambitions. The company jumped into the market in 2022, suggesting it might buy a stake in an LNG terminal. A 15-year, 2 MTPA supply agreement followed this May targeting gas volumes from the Haynesville. By August, Chesapeake was working more deals with a goal to supply up to 20% of its gas production to LNG sales. Whether or not a marriage to Southwestern transpires, Chesapeake has made clear its intentions to Be LNG Ready. How hot that pursuit is, we’ll have to wait and see.