Energy XXI Said to Prepare Bankruptcy Filing as Soon as Thursday

Energy XXI Ltd. is preparing to file for bankruptcy protection as soon as a grace period for missed interest payments expires Thursday, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The struggling oil and gas explorer missed two interest payments on a total of $1.6 billion of debt on March 15.

Houston-based Energy XXI, which describes itself as the largest publicly traded independent producer on the Gulf of Mexico shelf, is struggling with a debt load that’s ballooned as its market value shrank amid a plunge in oil prices. 

It suspended dividends on preferred shares in February and warned on March 7 that it may seek bankruptcy protection.

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