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How Chesapeake’s financial troubles turned one Pennsylvania town from boom to bust

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SAYRE, Penn. - Falling natural gas prices and the financial troubles of Chesapeake Energy have turned one Pennsylvania town from boom to bust in relatively a short period of time.

Almost all of the wells in Bradford County are operated by Chesapeake Energy, WNEP reports.

But after the corporation's layoffs, the town of Sayre is hurting.

Many Chesapeake employees are out of work, as well as those who worked alongside the company.

"Recently, I was laid off. And now I'm trying to operate a hot dog stand on the side and trying to make ends meet that way," said Joe Frank, who used to test water for gas drillers.

The layoffs also hurt local real estate agents, who are now having trouble selling homes.

Many say the region rose and fell with the fortunes of Chesapeake Energy.

Since the layoffs, businesses have shut down and homeowners have been forced to move away to find work.

"It was booming. The town and everything was booming," said Dale Wade.

The company's "man-camp" which once housed about 200 workers in modular homes is now nearly empty.

"Since I first started, when I started working here, the place was packed. Now it's a ghost town," Josh Nichols said.

While Chesapeake is still taking gas out of the ground in Bradford County, the corporation announced it won't be drilling any new wells in Pennsylvania in 2016.

At its annual meeting last month, Chesapeake executives said the company could possibly resume drilling in the area when natural gas prices get better.

Read more from WNEP.

 

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