Shares in Chesapeake Energy, the world's second-largest natural gas producer, were halted in early trading in New York, after more than half their value was wiped off - but the company said it had no plans to pursue bankruptcy proceedings.
The fall came after rumours circulated suggesting the company, which is also the US's 12th-largest producer of oil and natural gas liquids, had hired restructuring lawyers.
But in a statement shortly after shares were halted, Chesapeake said law firm Kirkland & Ellis had served as one of its counsel since 2010, and added it was seeking to "further strengthen its balance sheet following its recent debt exchange", adding that it was aiming to "aggressively maximise value for all shareholders".
Shares began to climb after the statement, and were at $2.32 in late morning trading in New York - 24.3 per cent down.
Shares have fallen 92 per cent in the past year, hit by falling oil and gas prices as the global supply glut rumbled on.