Stone Energy in Talks to Sell 90K Acres of Marcellus Leases/Wells

Stone EnergyStone Energy, an independent oil and natural gas exploration and production company (E&P) headquartered in Lafayette, Louisiana drills mainly in the Gulf of Mexico but also has a presence in the Marcellus/Utica Shale with 90,000 acres of leases. Last year Stone quit drilling in the northeast and actually shut-in part of their production due to low prices (see Stone Energy 3Q15: Shut Down 110 Mmcfe/d of Marcellus Production). In June Stone cut a new midstream gathering agreement with Williams to return some of their shut-in Marcellus wells to full production (see Stone Energy Opens Marcellus Spigots Again; New Midstream Deal). Although threatened with de-listing by the New York Stock Exchange and under threat of bankruptcy, Stone has (so far) managed to avoid both fates. Earlier this month MDN reported that although the company still faces stormy weather, they had committed to ramping up their Marcellus program again (see Stone Energy Ramps Up Marcellus Again in 2Q16, Loses $196M). Perhaps that was just marketing? Or perhaps Stone has been backed into a corner? Word has leaked, via a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) 8-K filing (full copy below), that Stone has “commenced negotiations to sell its Appalachian assets to a third party” as part of restructuring talks. That is, Stone is trying to stay out of bankruptcy, or if they have to declare bankruptcy, get a deal in place first–and as part of that process, they’ve disclosed they are actively trying to sell their 90,000 acres of leases and existing drilled wells in the Marcellus to help pay down debt…

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