Whiting Petroleum files for bankruptcy during coronavirus pandemic, oil price plunge
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(Reuters) – Whiting Petroleum Corp said on Wednesday it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the first major casualty of a free fall in crude prices to $20 per barrel last month.
Oil and gas producers have been scrambling to restructure their debt as the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic and an oil price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia have led to a 50% drop in crude prices since the beginning of March.
Whiting said it had reached an agreement with some of its creditors to cut its debt by about $2.2 billion through an exchange of some of its notes for 97% of new equity in the reorganized company. Existing shareholders will own 3% of the company.
|WLL||WHITING PETROLEUM CORP||0.37||-0.30||-44.10%|
The company had $2.8 billion in debt as of Dec. 31 and more than $585 million in cash on its balance sheet.
OIL'S RECORD CORONAVIRUS SLIDE IS NOWHERE NEAR BOTTOM
Whiting, which was expected to produce about 42 million barrels of oil equivalent in 2020, said it would continue to operate its business in the normal course without material disruption to its vendors, partners or employees.