Dec 16 U.S. oilfield services firm Forbes Energy
Services Ltd is preparing to file for bankruptcy as
soon as this month, as it struggles with approximately $300
million in debt, people familiar with the matter said on Friday.
The company's plans to seek protection from its creditors
underscore the stress facing the U.S. oilfield services sector
amid low energy prices, as oil and gas exploration and
production companies have scaled back drilling.
The sources noted that the schedule of a bankruptcy filing
by Forbes Energy could slip and asked not to be identified
because the preparations are confidential. A Forbes spokesman
declined to comment.
The company, headquartered in Alice, Texas, said in its
latest quarterly financial statement in November that it may
have to file for bankruptcy. It has also been in talks with its
creditors about a potential debt restructuring.
More than 200 energy-related firms have filed for bankruptcy
since oil prices crashed about two years ago.
Competing oilfield services firms Key Energy Service Inc
, C&J Energy Services Ltd and Basic Energy
Services Inc have all filed for bankruptcy in recent
Another competitor, Seventy Seven Energy Inc,
emerged from bankruptcy in August, and this week announced an
approximately $1.76 billion deal to be acquired by Patterson-UTI
Forbes Energy operates around 173 well servicing rigs in
Texas, Louisiana and Pennsylvania. It also transports and
disposes of fluids used in drilling.
Forbes Energy also competes with Stallion Oilfield Services
Ltd, Superior Energy Services Inc and Heckman Corp.
After it missed an interest payment on its bonds earlier
this year, Forbes Energy's creditors granted it a series of
forbearance agreements, allowing the company to avoid financial
Forbes Energy lost $23.2 million in the three months ended
Sept. 30. Its bonds due in 2019 were trading at 27.5 cents on
the dollar on Friday, according to Thomson Reuters data,
indicating investor concerns about full repayment.
(Reporting by Jessica DiNapoli in New York and Tom Hals in
Wilmington, Delaware; Editing by Dan Grebler)