Houston-based oil producer Fieldwood Energy filed for bankruptcy on Thursday at the same time as it announced it was acquiring the deepwater Gulf of Mexico assets of Noble Energy for $710m.
Under the unusual deal Fieldwood has worked out a debt-for-equity swap at the same time as it buys up Noble’s already developed deep-water Gulf assets.
Noble, also based in Houston, is moving out of the Gulf to concentrate on US shale and international waters. Fieldwood will be solely focused on the Gulf.
Fieldwood filed for Chapter 11 protection in the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas and entered into a Restructuring Support Agreement (RSA).
The plan entails a comprehensive restructuring of Fieldwood’s balance sheet which would see a reduction of debt by $1.6bn (around half the firm’s total debt), a capital influx of $525m through the equity offering, and the outlay for Noble’s assets.