Chesapeake to spend $1 billion to hasten natural gas adoption as fuel

Chesapeake Energy, a major producer of natural gas from shale, said it would invest $1 billion over 10 years in companies to hasten the adoption of natural gas as a fuel for trucks and cars.

It said it had purchased $150 million of convertible bonds in Clean Energy Fuels Corp., where natural gas promoter T. Boone Pickens owns a major stake and sits on the board. Chesapeake chief executive Aubrey K. McClendon said it would help underwrite 150 liquefied natural gas refueling stations along highway trucking routes.

Chesapeake also paid $155 million for a 50 percent ownership stake in Sundrop Fuels, a privately held cellulosic biofuels company in Colorado that will use the funds to build a biomass-based gasoline plant. That plant will use natural gas as a feedstock.

Steven Mufson covers energy and other financial news.
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