Halcon Resources, U.S. Oil Explorer, Files for Bankruptcy

  • Driller brings creditor-backed plan to swap debt for equity
  • Deal would cut $1.8 billion in debt, $200 million in interest

Halcon Resources Corp., the oil and gas explorer founded by wildcatter Floyd Wilson, filed for bankruptcy as part of a restructuring agreement reached with key lenders in May.

The agreement would eliminate $1.8 billion in debt and $200 million in annual interest payments, the Houston-based company said in court papers. A majority in each of the five major creditor groups backs the proposal, with support ranging from 51 percent to 100 percent, Halcon said.

The filing Wednesday in Delaware bankruptcy court listed $3.12 billion in debt and $2.85 billion in assets.

Wilson, who became a legend in the U.S. shale industry after selling Petrohawk Energy Corp. for $15.1 billion in 2011, bought up acreage in North Dakota, Texas, Mississippi and Pennsylvania, only to see several prospects fail to pan out and oil prices collapse. Halcon’s debt ballooned to $2.9 billion.

The company focuses on onshore oil assets in the U.S. and averaged 41,087 barrels of oil or equivalent a day in 2015, according to financial statements. Around 79 percent of its production was oil, 10 percent was natural gas liquids and the rest was natural gas, Halcon said.

According to a restructuring support agreement announced in May, all stakeholders, including common shareholders, will get cash or new stock in a reorganized company.

Split Ownership

In return for canceling the debt they’re owed, creditors will split ownership of the company; third-lien noteholders will get more than 75 percent of the equity and other noteholders will get the rest, according to court filings. The plan must be approved by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Brendan Linehan Shannon.

Holders of 83 percent of Halcon’s third-lien notes, 61 percent of its unsecured notes, all its convertible notes and 63 percent of its preferred stock had signed onto a restructuring support agreement worked out before the company filed bankruptcy, Halcon President Stephen W. Herod said in a court filling.

The case is In Re Halcon Resources Corp, 16-11724, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware.

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