Chesapeake Energy

Chesapeake Energy Corp. is due to release its third-quarter numbers this week, and analysts project the slimmed-down company to be more profitable than it has been.

Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE: CHK) is looking for a buyer for its oilfield services division, which handles fracking, drilling, fluid disposal and rig relocation, the company announced Monday.

The Chesapeake Oilfield Services division could be spun off to shareholders or sold outright.

“COS is an outstanding business with a talented management team that we believe will offer Chesapeake and its shareholders enhanced return opportunities as a stand-alone company,” CEO Doug Lawler said in a press release.

Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake (NYSE: CHK) operates its Barnett Shale operations from it’s an office in downtown Fort Worth.

The division owns or leases 115 land drilling rigs, nine hydraulic fracturing fleets, an oilfield rental business, and a trucking fleet. The fleet includes 260 rig relocation trucks, 67 cranes and forklifts and 246 fluid hauling trucks.

In a press release, Chesapeake says that the oilfield services division could maximize its value to shareholders outside of the current ownership structure.

More than one-third of the division’s drilling rigs are working for third-party customers and that could grow if it were an independent provider.

Chesapeake Oilfield Services is led by CEO Jerry Winchester.

“We believe that our separation from Chesapeake will position us to further capitalize on our expertise and capture additional third-party work,” Winchester said.

The news comes weeks after activist investor Carl Icahn, who owns a 10 percent stake in Chesapeake, announced he is seeking a cash bid for the entire company. Possible buyers for Chesapeake include Irving-based Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) and British Petroleum.