Shale-Drilling Pioneer Chesapeake Energy Warns Its Future Is in Peril

Chesapeake Energy Corp. warned that it may not be able to stay in business as weak oil and natural-gas prices imperil a yearslong effort to pay down hefty debt.

The shale-drilling trailblazer said Monday that it has hired advisers to explore options including bankruptcy and raised doubt about its ability to remain a going concern as it reported a first-quarter loss of about $8.3 billion, compared with a loss of $21 million during the same period a year earlier.

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