Feb 28 SandRidge Energy Inc said on
Friday it was subpoenaed by the U.S. Department of Justice,
which is investigating whether antitrust laws were violated in
the buying and leasing of mineral rights.
In June, SandRidge's board removed the U.S. oil and gas
company's founder and chief executive, Tom Ward, after a
struggle with activist investors who accused him of self-dealing
at the expense of shareholders and of making strategic mistakes.
In December, SandRidge received an order from federal
authorities "in connection with an ongoing investigation of
possible violations of antitrust laws in connection with the
purchase or lease of land, oil or natural gas rights," SandRidge
said in its annual filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
The Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, company is cooperating with the
government's anti-trust probe and did not say whether it was the
target of the inquiry.
A spokesman for the company was not immediately available
to comment. On a conference call with investors, SandRidge CEO
James Bennett told analysts SandRidge does not "have any more
facts of the investigation, other than what we put in the (SEC
filing)," according to a transcript of the call.
Investors should not be concerned, said Bennett.
Chesapeake Energy Corp, a company that Ward
co-founded with Aubrey McClendon, has been the subject of
antitrust probes by state and federal authorities since 2012. It
is not clear if the inquiries are related.
Under Ward, well results from the company's top growth
prospect, the Mississippi Lime, in Oklahoma and Kansas,
disappointed investors. He was also criticized by investors for
reckless spending that created unnecessary risks for
Apart from claims of strategic missteps, activist investor
TPG-Axon Capital alleged that Ward and the company's board
allowed WCT Resources, an Oklahoma company run by Ward's son
Trent, to acquire the rights to drill for oil and gas near
SandRidge has said its board found no wrongdoing in the land
deals and that WCT was an independent oil and gas company.
Shares of SandRidge ended 2 percent higher, up 12 cents, at
$6.45 on the New York Stock Exchange.