DENVER, CO–(Marketwired – March 18, 2016) – Venoco, Inc. today announced that it has reached an agreement with its senior lenders to reduce the company’s debt load and restructure the balance sheet. Under the terms of the agreement, these lenders have agreed to support a restructuring transaction that will eliminate approximately $1 billion of debt from Venoco’s balance sheet and position the company for long-term success.
To facilitate this financial restructuring, Venoco today has filed a voluntary petition for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.
“Today’s announcement represents another significant step in our ongoing efforts to address the challenges before us and position the company for long-term success,” said Mark DePuy, Venoco’s CEO. “After carefully evaluating our options, we have determined that the agreement to restructure our balance sheet and reduce our debt represents the best way to strengthen our finances and position ourselves for the future.”
“While we continue to be in a strong cash position, the declining price of oil and the ongoing closure of Plains All American pipeline 901 continue to be serious problems. With this agreement, Venoco will be in a much stronger position to withstand these challenges and others that may follow,” DePuy continued. “Both during and after this process, Venoco will maintain the same commitment to safety, environmental protection and the communities in which we operate. Venoco is and continues to be a remarkable company with award winning operations, excellent employees, and robust energy-producing assets.”
The company has sufficient liquidity to continue its normal oil and gas activities and meet its ongoing financial and regulatory obligations. Upon approval by the Bankruptcy Court and satisfaction of customary conditions, the company’s existing liquidity and generated cash from ongoing operations will be used to support the company during the restructuring process.
Venoco founder Tim Marquez will remain Executive Chairman during the restructuring process. The company’s senior lenders have retained him to provide leadership and strategic counsel to the company after the company emerges from restructuring.
“I truly love the company we built in and around Santa Barbara County and its community,” said Marquez. “It is the employees of Venoco that live in and contribute to the community that make Venoco a great company. It is unfortunate that a third party pipeline spill has impacted Venoco, but this process will make it stronger and ensure its continued contributions to the Santa Barbara County community. This process will significantly strengthen the financial wherewithal of an already great operational Company. I am especially proud that Venoco, directly and indirectly, has donated close to $150,000,000 to communities where it does business. I look forward to being a part of its success going forward.”
Additional information is available on Venoco’s website as www.venocoinc.com/restructuring. In addition, court filings and other reorganization documents are available on a separate website administered by Venoco’s claims and noticing agent BMC Group at www.bmcgroup.com/venoco.
Venoco, Inc. is an independent energy company primarily focused on the acquisition, exploration and development of oil and natural gas properties. For more than 20 years, Venoco has operated in California where there is a rich history of oil and natural gas production from some of the largest oil fields in the country. Venoco has built a solid reputation as a good corporate citizen and its highly efficient operations have a distinguished record of meeting California’s high environmental and safety standards. For more information, visit www.venocoinc.com.