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SPOTLIGHT

1. NATURAL GAS:

Investors cheer 'more adult supervision' at Chesapeake

Market investors yesterday applauded the Chesapeake Energy Corp. directors' decision to remove founder Aubrey McClendon as chairman, following a furor over his personal investments in the company's oil and gas drilling projects. The company's shares rose more than 6 percent to $19.60 in heavy trading yesterday, regaining some of the ground lost during the steep slide over the past year that erased nearly half of the stock's value.

2. NATURAL GAS:

Peerless well program meant to marry Chesapeake's interests with McClendon's

In 2005, the board of Chesapeake Energy Corp. proposed an unusual perk for its founder, CEO and Chairman Aubrey McClendon. The stated purpose: to align the long-term goals of the company with those of its erratic, dynamic captain. The Founder Well Participation Program, offered to shareholders for a vote in 2005, would let McClendon and co-founder Tom Ward each buy up to a 2.5 percent ownership stake in Chesapeake's new oil and gas wells. Ward left the company in 2006, leaving McClendon the sole player in what seemed a juicy executive privilege: a private piece of Chesapeake's adventures in its peerless oil and gas -- mainly gas -- properties. This spring, that picture has shattered.

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