Swift Energy emerges from bankruptcy

OREANDA-NEWS. April 27, 2016. US oil and gas producer Swift Energy emerged from bankruptcy protection after a US court approved its restructuring plan late last month.

The independent, with operations in the Eagle Ford shale basin in Texas and inland waters of Louisiana, filed for Chapter 11 protection at the end of December. It sold off some of its assets in central Louisiana to oil and gas producer TEXEGY at an undisclosed price as part of its reorganization. It also got a new secured loan of \\$320mn from banks to help pay for operations following the restructuring.

Small to medium-sized producers like Swift Energy, Energy XXI and Goodrich Petroleum have filed for bankruptcy amid the prolonged oil market weakness that saw crude prices plunge below \\$30/bl in the first quarter. But a quick turnaround, with a reworked balance sheet, may help them maintain steady output, in yet another sign of the resilience of US shale oil and gas operators.

With "the process behind us, we must continue in our efforts to further improve our operations and maximize the value of our assets," chief executive Terry Swift said.

As part of the agreement approved by the court on 31 March, senior note holders, debtors-in-possession and parties whose contracts have not been fulfilled will hold 96pc of the company's common stock under the restructuring plan, while existing shareholders will hold the remaining 4pc. As a result of the conversion of all senior notes into equity, the company's unsecured debt fell by about \\$905mn.

The independent's total output in the year ended 31 December 2015 fell by 5pc to an estimated 32,128 b/d of oil equivalent (boe/d), from about 33,900 boe/d a year earlier, according to its annual report. Out of the 2015 total, natural gas accounted for 67pc while oil accounted for 21pc.

The company's net operating cash flow fell to \\$42.3mn as of 31 December 2015 from \\$306mn a year earlier, largely on account of a \\$1.6bn write-down on its oil and gas properties.

Its total liabilities as of 31 December 2015 were \\$1.38bn versus total assets of \\$525mn. It had long-term debt of \\$1.07bn as of 31 December, 2014, most of which was converted to equity under the restructuring plan.