BY Fraser Tennant
In a move designed to significantly reduce its debt and realign its operations, energy company Legacy Reserves, together with its subsidiaries, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The filing is to facilitate a global restructuring support agreement (RSA) with its lenders, announced just days previously.
Legacy’s bankruptcy woes are a direct result of uncertainty in the oil industry, with fluctuating oil prices doing much to saddle the company with massive debt as it attempted to continue operating through the market’s peaks and troughs.
Moreover, Legacy has stated that it sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in order to implement its RSA and cut more than $900m of its debt. The RSA will provide the company with liquidity and capital structure, while minimising operational disruptions.
“We explored a wide variety of alternatives to address our balance sheet and looming bank maturity during a sustained downturn in oil and gas prices,” said Dan Westcott, chief executive of Legacy. “After concluding this process, we felt that the financial restructuring negotiated with our creditors provides the best path forward for the company. Through the proposed terms of the plan of reorganisation, we believe our right-sized balance sheet will enable us to successfully compete in the current environment.”
The company has also stated that it intends to operate ‘in the ordinary course of business’ throughout the Chapter 11 process and has filed a number of first-day motions to this effect. Specifically, Legacy has requested authority to pay in full employee wages and honour existing employee benefit programmes, vendors and other operating expenses, joint interest billings for non-operated properties and royalties to mineral interest owners under terms of applicable agreements.
An independent energy company engaged in the development, production and acquisition of oil and natural gas properties in the US, Legacy’s current operations are focused on the cost-efficient management of shallow-decline oil and natural gas wells in the Permian Basin, East Texas, Rocky Mountain and Mid-Continent regions.
Mr Westcott concluded: “Following the negotiated restructuring, we look forward to having substantially less debt and significantly enhanced prospects for our company, our employees and our future."