Stone Energy Exits Bankruptcy, Sale of M-U Assets to EQT Finalized

Stone Energy is an independent oil and natural gas exploration and production company (E&P) headquartered in Lafayette, Louisiana, drilling mainly in the Gulf of Mexico but also has (or rather had) a presence in the Marcellus/Utica Shale with 86,000 acres of leases. Stone quit actively drilling in the Marcellus in 2015, and filed for bankruptcy last October. As part of the bankruptcy filing, Stone signed a deal with Tug Hill to sell those 86,000 acres to Tug Hill for $350 million (see Stone Energy Enters Bankruptcy, Sells Marc/Utica Assets for $350M). The deal with Tug Hill was called a “stalking horse bid,” which meant Tug Hill would get the deal if no one else came along and bid higher. Someone did come along and bid higher–EQT (see EQT Wins Bankruptcy Auction for 86K Stone Energy M-U Acres, $527M). As of yesterday ownership for Stone’s 86K acres + wells was officially transferred to EQT. As of today, Stone is exiting bankruptcy. Now they have to pay Tug Hill a $10.8 million breakup fee…
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Bankruptcy Court Approves Stone Energy’s Reorg Plan

Stone 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 (or rather had) a presence in the Marcellus/Utica Shale with 86,000 acres of leases. In December Stone filed for bankruptcy protection (see Stone Energy Files for Bankruptcy, Largest Shareholder Opposes). The plan, like most of these types of plans, hoses existing shareholders and hands the ownership keys of the company over to debtors instead, which Stone’s largest shareholder objected to. But apparently that shareholder getting something was better than getting nothing, and he worked out a deal with Stone, dropping his objection (see Stone Energy’s Largest Shareholder Caves, Agrees to Bankruptcy). Last week the bankruptcy court approved the sale of Stone’s Marcellus/Utica assets to EQT (see EQT Wins Bankruptcy Auction for 86K Stone Energy M-U Acres, $527M). Now comes word that the court has approved the rest of Stone’s plan…
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EQT Wins Bankruptcy Auction for 86K Stone Energy M-U Acres, $527M

Stalking horse

Stone Energy is an independent oil and natural gas exploration and production company (E&P) headquartered in Lafayette, Louisiana, drilling mainly in the Gulf of Mexico but also has a presence in the Marcellus/Utica Shale with 86,000 acres of leases. Stone quit actively drilling in the Marcellus in 2015, and filed for bankruptcy last October. As part of the bankruptcy filing, Stone signed a deal with Tug Hill (at one time closely associated with Chief Oil & Gas) to sell those 86,000 acres to Tug Hill for $350 million (see Stone Energy Enters Bankruptcy, Sells Marc/Utica Assets for $350M). The deal with Tug Hill is called a “stalking horse bid,” which means Tug Hill would get the deal if no one else came along and bid higher. Someone did come along and bid higher–EQT. Yesterday EQT said it has won with the highest bid at $527 million ($6,128/acre) to take over all 86,000 of Stone’s Marcellus/Utica acres. The stalking horse is dead…
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Stone Energy Says Prepackaged Bankruptcy Plan on Way to Adoption

Yesterday MDN updated you on the situation with Stone Energy and their filing for bankruptcy (see Stone Energy’s Largest Shareholder Caves, Agrees to Bankruptcy). As we reported, Stone’s largest shareholder, who stands to take the biggest screwing under a bankruptcy plan, decided to negotiate a truce and allow the bankruptcy to proceed. Immediately Stone filed and then issued an update. The first court date is always critical, and according to Stone, it went well with the bankruptcy court ruling that Stone can pretty much do what it filed to do…
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Stone Energy’s Largest Shareholder Caves, Agrees to Bankruptcy

Stone 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 (or rather had) a presence in the Marcellus/Utica Shale with 90,000 acres of leases. In October Stone announced (a) it is selling its Marcellus/Utica assets to Tug Hill for $350 million, and (b) the company is preparing to file for bankruptcy (see Stone Energy Enters Bankruptcy, Sells Marc/Utica Assets for $350M). Stone needs the bankruptcy court’s permission to sell the acreage. However, Stone’s bankruptcy plans are facing a challenge from it’s biggest shareholder. Investor Thomas Satterfield, who now owns 9.9% of the company’s stock, doesn’t want to see that stock turned into toilet paper by handing the keys over to debtholders, as is the typical route E&Ps have taken with bankruptcy filings over the past year or so (see Stone Energy’s Largest Shareholder Opposes Current Bankruptcy Plan). Last week the company announced it is pushing ahead with its plan to file for bankruptcy including seeking permission to sell its Marcellus/Utica assets, over the objections of Satterfield who said he would see them in court (see Stone Energy Files for Bankruptcy, Largest Shareholder Opposes). It’s been a fast and furious week. Satterfield has struck a bargain with Stone, figuring half a loaf is better than no bread at all…
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Stone Energy Files for Bankruptcy, Largest Shareholder Opposes

Stone 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 (or rather had) a presence in the Marcellus/Utica Shale with 90,000 acres of leases. In October Stone announced (a) it is selling its Marcellus/Utica assets to Tug Hill for $350 million, and (b) the company is preparing to file for bankruptcy (see Stone Energy Enters Bankruptcy, Sells Marc/Utica Assets for $350M). Stone needs the bankruptcy court’s permission to sell the acreage. However, Stone’s bankruptcy plans are facing a challenge from it’s biggest shareholder. Investor Thomas Satterfield, who now owns 9.9% of the company’s stock, doesn’t want to see that stock turned into toilet paper by handing the keys over to debtholders, as is the typical route E&Ps have taken with bankruptcy filings over the past year or so (see Stone Energy’s Largest Shareholder Opposes Current Bankruptcy Plan). Yesterday the company announced it is pushing ahead with its plan to file for bankruptcy including seeking permission to sell its Marcellus/Utica assets, over the objections of Satterfield who now says he’ll see the company in court in a bid to stop the current filing…
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Stone Energy’s Largest Shareholder Opposes Current Bankruptcy Plan

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). However, things changed for Stone in a big way in October when the company announced (a) it is selling its Marcellus/Utica assets to Tug Hill for $350 million, and (b) the company is preparing to file for bankruptcy (see Stone Energy Enters Bankruptcy, Sells Marc/Utica Assets for $350M). Stone’s bankruptcy plans are facing a challenge from it’s biggest shareholder. It seems investor Thomas Satterfield, who now owns 9.9% of the company’s stock, doesn’t want to see that stock turned into toilet paper by handing the keys over to debtholders, as is the typical route E&Ps have taken with bankruptcy filings over the past year or so…
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Stone Energy 3Q16: Drilled 2 M-U Wells, Sale to Tug Hill Progress

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). In August MDN tipped you off that Stone is looking to unload their Marcellus/Utica assets (see Stone Energy in Talks to Sell 90K Acres of Marcellus Leases/Wells). In October Stone issued an announcement that the company, like others before it, has cut a deal to file a “prepackaged” bankruptcy AND sell it’s Marcellus/Utica assets to Tug Hill for $350 million (see Stone Energy Enters Bankruptcy, Sells Marc/Utica Assets for $350M). Yesterday Stone issued its third quarter 2016 update with details on how the sale to Tug Hill is going, how the bankruptcy is going, and how a number of other issues are going for the company…
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Stone Energy Enters Bankruptcy, Sells Marc/Utica Assets for $350M

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). In April MDN told you Stone was (in our opinion) inching toward bankruptcy (see Stone Energy Appoints Special Liaison, Inches Toward Bankruptcy?). In August MDN tipped you off that Stone is looking to unload their Marcellus/Utica assets (see Stone Energy in Talks to Sell 90K Acres of Marcellus Leases/Wells). Both bits of news have come true. Last Thursday Stone issued an announcement that the company, like others before it, has cut a deal to file a “prepackaged” bankruptcy AND sell its Marcellus/Utica assets to Tug Hill for $350 million…
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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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Stone Energy Ramps Up Marcellus Again in 2Q16, Loses $196M

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 75,000 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. They’re scrappy! And they continue to impress. Yesterday Stone issued their second quarter 2016 update, in which they confirm bringing their “Mary” field in the Marcellus back online in June. Stone has worked out deals with several major debtors to keep them out of bankruptcy court and they live to fight another day. Hats off to Stone. The company did, however, lose $196 million in 2Q16 (versus losing $153 million in 2Q15). While they live to fight another day, there are still storm clouds on the horizon…
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Stone Energy Update on Marcellus Gathering Deal with Williams

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 75,000 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). As we pointed out in April, the company is in financial trouble and inching toward bankruptcy (see Stone Energy Appoints Special Liaison, Inches Toward Bankruptcy?). However, Stone has not, like some others, tipped into bankruptcy. Yet. And perhaps things are beginning to turn around for Stone. 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). Stone issued a production update yesterday. Part of the update addresses the Williams midstream deal–how it’s doing so far, and what to expect…
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Stone Energy Opens Marcellus Spigots Again; New Midstream Deal

Stone EnergyAre we seeing the beginning of a trend? Yesterday MDN told you that after saying they would only drill a single Marcellus well and were curtailing production in the northeast, Eclipse Resources had turned that around and decided to drill 10-12 new wells, complete 24 wells and open up the spigots to shut-in wells once again (see Eclipse Resources Ramps Up Drilling; Floats More Stock to Raise $). Today we bring you news that Stone Energy has cut a new midstream gathering agreement with Williams and is returning some of their shut-in Marcellus wells to full production. Sure feels like things are beginning to look up!…
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Stone Energy’s Play to Stay on NYSE: 1-for-10 Reverse Stock Split

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 75,000 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). As we pointed out in April, the company is in financial trouble and inching toward bankruptcy (see Stone Energy Appoints Special Liaison, Inches Toward Bankruptcy?). Earlier this month the New York Stock Exchange threatened the company with de-listing its stock, which would not bode well for a company trying to attract and hold on to investors (see Stone Energy Threatened with De-listing by NYSE). One of the strategies companies use to remain listed on an exchange is to combine together shares of stock, called a reverse stock split. Stone has just announced they will do a 1-for-10 reverse split–meaning an investor who owns 10 shares will see those 10 shares magically combined into a single share…
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Stone Energy Threatened with De-listing by NYSE

Stone EnergyAs we commented in April, there’s no way to sugarcoat the fact that Stone Energy–an independent oil and natural gas exploration and production company (E&P) headquartered in Lafayette, Louisiana that drills mainly in the Gulf of Mexico but also has a presence in the Marcellus/Utica Shale with 75,000 acres of leases–is inching toward a bankruptcy filing (see Stone Energy Appoints Special Liaison, Inches Toward Bankruptcy?). Stone now has another problem: the New York Stock Exchange sent the company a warning that unless they get the per-share price of the stock boosted, it will be de-listed from the NYSE…
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Stone Energy Appoints Special Liaison, Inches Toward Bankruptcy?

Stone EnergyThere’s no way to sugarcoat the fact that Stone Energy–an independent oil and natural gas exploration and production company (E&P) headquartered in Lafayette, Louisiana that drills mainly in the Gulf of Mexico but also has a presence in the Marcellus/Utica Shale with 75,000 acres of leases–is inching toward a bankruptcy filing. That’s our take anyway. Last week Stone issued an update for 1Q16 in which they disclose their line of credit with the banks has been reduced from $500 million to $300 million (see Stone Energy 1Q16: Most Marcellus Production Still Closed Down). That’s a big hairy problem, because there is now a “borrowing base deficiency” of $175.3 million–meaning the company may go into default on its loans. Stone outlined various repayment options last week, none of them good. So it was no surprise that yesterday Stone announced one of its board members is becoming a “Special Liaison” to management to help the company “with assessing strategic alternatives and restructuring alternatives.” The word “restructuring,” as we’ve seen with other producers, is a euphemism for bankruptcy…
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