Diversified Energy shares plunge 14% on US lawmaker concerns

Shares in Diversified Energy (LSE: DEC) crashed 14% on Tuesday after the company received a letter from US lawmakers raising concerns about its well retirement and emissions practices. The stock initially plummeted 19% following the news.

In the letter, four members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee suggested Diversified may be underestimating its cleanup costs associated with over 70,000 ageing oil and gas wells under its control. This could shift billions in liabilities onto US taxpayers, they warned.

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The committee also questioned if Diversified is doing enough to curb methane emissions. Diversified maintains it takes asset stewardship seriously, highlighting recent well retirements and its Next LVL Energy segment. But with shares now halved year-to-date, scrutiny over the company’s environmental impact is unlikely to let up soon.