US oil and gas producer Energy XXI may seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March if oil prices remain low and it fails to refinance its debt, the company said in a regulatory filing, Reuters reported.
Even with the recent surge in prices toward $40bbl, prices are still far below the $60bbl break-even level for the Houston-based company. It had a $1.3b loss reported in December 2015.
“Absent a material improvement in oil and gas prices or a refinancing or some restructuring of our debt obligations or other improvement in liquidity, we may seek bankruptcy protection to continue our efforts to restructure our business and capital structure,” Energy XXI told the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
A bankruptcy filing by Energy XXI would be the second biggest energy-related failure since a prolonged slump in oil prices has put a slew of oil and gas producers at risk of default, Offshore Magazine reported. The company, with oilfields in South Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico, would be following Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Samson Resources Corp.
With some $4b liabilities as of end December, Energy XXI missed an $8.8m interest payment on senior notes in February and has since been trying to reach a deal with debt holders to restructure its balance sheet before a 30-day grace period ends in mid March.