CHESAPEAKE ENERGY CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
Basis of Presentation and Summary of Significant Accounting Policies Description of Company
Chesapeake Energy Corporation ("Chesapeake" or the "Company") is an oil and natural gas exploration and production company engaged in the acquisition, exploration and development of properties for the production of oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGL) from underground reservoirs. We also own oil and natural gas marketing and compression businesses. As of December 31, 2016, we have sold substantially all of our assets associated with our natural gas gathering business, and prior to June 30, 2014, we owned an oilfield services business (see Note 13). Our operations are located onshore in the United States. Basis of Presentation The accompanying consolidated financial statements of Chesapeake were prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States (U.S. GAAP) and include the accounts of our direct and indirect wholly owned subsidiaries and entities in which Chesapeake has a controlling financial interest. Intercompany accounts and balances have been eliminated. Accounting Estimates The preparation of financial statements in conformity with U.S. GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the dates of the financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting periods. Actual results could differ from those estimates. Estimates of oil and natural gas reserves and their values, future production rates and future costs and expenses are the most significant of our estimates. The accuracy of any reserve estimate is a function of the quality of data available and of engineering and geological interpretation and judgment. In addition, estimates of reserves may be revised based on actual production, results of subsequent exploration and development activities, recent commodity prices, operating costs and other factors. These revisions could materially affect our financial statements. The volatility of commodity prices results in increased uncertainty inherent in these estimates and assumptions. Changes in oil, natural gas or NGL prices could result in actual results differing significantly from our estimates. Risks and Uncertainties Our ability to grow, make capital expenditures and service our debt depends primarily upon the prices we receive for the oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGL) we sell. Substantial expenditures are required to replace reserves, sustain production and fund our business plans. Historically, oil and natural gas prices have been very volatile, and may be subject to wide fluctuations in the future. The substantial decline in oil, natural gas and NGL prices from 2014 levels has negatively affected the amount of liquidity we have available for capital expenditures and debt service. A substantial or extended decline in oil, natural gas and NGL prices could have a material impact on our financial position, results of operations, cash flows and on the quantities of reserves that we may economically produce. Other risks and uncertainties that could affect us in a low commodity price environment include, but are not limited to, counterparty credit risk for our receivables, access to capital markets, regulatory risks and our ability to meet financial ratios and covenants in our financing agreements. Consolidation Chesapeake consolidates entities in which we have a controlling financial interest. We consolidate subsidiaries in which we hold, directly or indirectly, more than 50% of the voting rights and variable interest entities (VIEs) in which Chesapeake is the primary beneficiary. We use the equity method of accounting to record our net interests where Chesapeake has the ability to exercise significant influence through its investment. Under the equity method, our share of net income (loss) is included in our consolidated statements of operations according to our equity ownership or according to the terms of the applicable governing instrument. See Note 14 for further discussion of our investments. Undivided interests in oil and natural gas properties are consolidated on a proportionate basis.