UPDATE 1-Chesapeake, CEO McClendon under SEC investigation
* Says SEC's informal inquiry continuing as investigation
* Shares fall 2 percent premarket
March 1 (Reuters) - Chesapeake Energy Corp said the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission was investigating the company and Chief Executive Aubrey McClendon and had issued subpoenas for information and testimony.
The company said on Friday it was advised by the SEC in December that an informal inquiry, launched by the regulator in May, was continuing as an investigation.
Shares of Chesapeake, the No. 2 natural gas producer in the United States, were down 2 percent before the bell.
Regulators in the SEC's Fort Worth office have been looking into a controversial program that grants McClendon a stake of up to 2.5 percent in every well that Chesapeake drills.
The board has since said the program would end in June 2014.
McClendon is stepping down on April 1 following a tumultuous year during which the company he founded faced the governance crisis and a liquidity crunch.
A Reuters investigation last April found that McClendon had arranged to personally borrow more than $1 billion from a big investor in Chesapeake, EIG Global Energy Partners, secured by his interest in the wells.
The Department of Justice is investigating whether Chesapeake violated antitrust laws in connection with the purchase and lease of oil and gas rights in Michigan.
The company said in a regulatory filing on Friday that it was also responding to related inquiries from other regulatory agencies and self-regulatory organizations.
Chesapeake shares closed at $20.16 on Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange.