Chesapeake Energy Corp ( CHK.N ), the oil and gas exploration and production company that was at the forefront of the past decade’s U.S. shale boom, is preparing a potential bankruptcy filing as it grapples with an unprecedented rout in energy prices, people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday. The Oklahoma City-based company, co-founded by late wildcatter and outspoken natural gas proponent Aubrey McClendon, has held discussions with creditors about a possible loan that would aid operations while it navigates bankruptcy proceedings, the sources said. The loan could total roughly $1 billion, though its size remains in flux, one of the sources added. Such loans, referred to as debtor-in-possession financing, are key to companies seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection because they help them sustain as much of their business as possible during court proceedings. Chesapeake’s discussions about possibly obtaining bankruptcy financing are in early stages, and […]