Former Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon died in a single-car crash in Oklahoma City, one day after his indictment on federal antitrust charges.
Local police said McClendon’s SUV went over the dividing line of the road he was traveling, struck a bridge at high speed, and exploded into flames upon impact, on a relatively rural stretch of road in northeastern Oklahoma City on Wednesday morning (March 2). No one else was injured.
A day earlier, McClendon had been indicted on charges that he had colluded to suppress the value of oil and gas leases while at Chesapeake, a pioneer in America’s shale gas revolution.
The police investigation is expected to take another week or two to complete.
The day before his death, McClendon was indicted on federal charges that he had colluded to suppress the value of oil and gas leases that helped propel his former company’s success in the shale gas revolution. Although that success enabled McClendon and other investors to do things like bring the NBA’s Seattle Supersonics to Oklahoma City as the Thunder (where they play in the Chesapeake Energy Arena), it came back to haunt him when it was found he had personally borrowed more than $1 billion against shares in Chesapeake’s wells. He left the company in 2013 and later founded his own firm, American Energy Partners. He was 56 years old.
Oil magnate T. Boone Pickens said this of McClendon in a statement on his website:
I’ve known Aubrey McClendon for nearly 25 years. He was a major player in leading the stunning energy renaissance in America. He was charismatic and a true American entrepreneur. No individual is without flaws, but his impact on American energy will be long-lasting.