News bites: Report says Justice Dept. probing Chesapeake, Encana

Reuters has the latest on troubled natural-gas giant Chesapeake Energy: 

The U.S. Justice Department is probing Chesapeake Energy Corp and Encana Corp for possible collusion after a Reuters report showed that top executives of the two rivals plotted in 2010 to avoid bidding against each other in Michigan land deals, a source close to the probe said.

The report uncovered emails showing that the two natural gas companies repeatedly discussed how to avoid bidding against each other in a public land auction in Michigan and in nine prospective deals with private land owners in the state.

The Associated Press reports that federal officials are seeking a $3.7 million penalty against Enbridge Inc. for a 2010 oil spill into a Michigan river.

It would be the largest penalty the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has imposed.

As new measures targeting Iranian oil exports kick in, The Washington Post reports on “growing signs in Iran that Western sanctions are hurting the nation’s economy and alarming its decisionmakers.”

MarketWatch explores a rush to utility stocks in the heatwave — and whether that’s a good idea for investors.



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