Goodrich Petroleum files for bankruptcy

HOUSTON, April 15 (UPI) — U.S. energy company Goodrich Petroleum Corp. announced Friday it filed for bankruptcy protection in an effort to erase $400 million in debt.

“Through the Chapter 11 restructuring, the company will eliminate approximately $400 million in debt from its balance sheet, substantially deleverage its capital structure and strategically position the Company for long-term performance in an anticipated improving commodity price environment,” the company said in a statement.

Two years ago, with crude oil prices at around $110 per barrel, Goodrich was touting the success of its hydraulic fracturing campaign in shale basins in Mississippi and Louisiana. In Louisiana alone, the company was targeting a shale reserve area the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources estimated contained approximately 7 billion barrels of oil.

Despite rallying in April, crude oil prices are roughly 60 percent below peak levels from 2014. The decline has left energy companies with few options but to reduce headcounts and streamline capital spending.

Goodrich in January received notification from the New York Stock Exchange that proceedings were in place to remove its shares from the index. NYSE regulators at the time said Goodrich shares were no longer suitable for listing because of “abnormally low” levels.

U.S. rig company Hercules Offshore was one of the early casualties of the weak market, filing for bankruptcy protection in August. Last year, the U.S. government estimated total investments in exploration and production could stay below the 10-year average if crude oil prices remain depressed. Crude oil prices were about 10 percent higher than today when that report was issued.

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