Chesapeake Energy is spending $1 billion on a three-pronged plan to "break the headlock" of OPEC oil dependency, CEO Aubrey McClendon told CNBC Tuesday.
First would be to get the U.S. oil and natural gas liquids industry to increase output by 3 million to 4 million barrels a day over the next 10 years, from the current eight million barrels a day.
Chesapeake also plans to invest $155 million in a private company in Colorado, Sun Drop Fuels, to build a demonstration plant to show off its "breakhtrough technology" that combines "non-food biomass waste material with natural gas" to create a "green gasoline," McClendon said.
The final prong fuels T. Boone Pickens' plan to put natural gas into every heavy-duty commercial truck in America. Chesapeake will invest $150 million in Clean Energy Corp. , the public company Pickens started, to put natural gas pumps into truck stops across the country. The plan is to ultimately build 150 stations along interstate highways to provide natural gas, as well as put pumps into existing truck stops.
"If you look where trucks run today, I think you only need 1,000 strategically placed fueling stations (to cover the U.S.) coast to coast and border to border," McClendon said. Clean Energy's first deal is to put such pumps in truck stops operated by Pilot/Flying J.
"If you're a trucking company, if you are a mover of goods across our country, you'll say, 'Wait just a minute, I can use an American fuel that puts Americans to work' while saving money," he said. "What you haven't been able to do today is be able to put that driver in a truck and assure him he can go coast to coast and not run out of fuel."
The U.S. spends "$1 million a minute on imported oil," McClendon said, and more needs to be done to develop this nation's natural gas resources.
"We have something quite unique here and we have to put it to work," he said.