CHK – Chesapeake Energy Corp. – Near-term put options on the natural gas and oil exploration and production company are in high demand this afternoon despite the slight 0.40% rebound in the price of the underlying shares to $23.41 as of 1:20 pm (ET). Investors wary Chesapeake’s shares may decline ahead of June expiration purchased at least 16,000 put options at the June $22 strike for an average premium of $0.42 apiece. Put-buyers could be initiating outright bearish bets in the expectation that Chesapeake’s share price will erode in the next couple of weeks. In this scenario, traders make money as long as CHK’s shares decline at least 7.8% to breach the average breakeven price at $21.58 by June expiration. Alternatively, investors may be CHK optimists long the stock and merely buying short-term insurance policies (put options) to protect the value of the underlying position in case Chesapeake’s shares shift lower ahead of expiration day. If this is the case, the puts yield downside protection through expiration day in June should shares of the energy company trade below the average breakeven point at $21.58. Chesapeake’s overall reading of options implied volatility is up 6.9% to 45.65% as of 1:30 pm (ET).