Chesapeake, Southwestern to Merge as New Gas Behemoth


 agreed to merge in an all-stock transaction valued at $7.4 billion that would create the largest natural-gas producer in the U.S.

The deal is in large part a bet that booming liquefied-natural-gas exports from the shores of Texas and Louisiana will allow drillers to sell more of their product to Europe, Asia and other global markets craving American fuel. It also continues a wave of consolidation that has swept across the U.S. energy industry in recent months.

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