Bruin E&P Partners LLC, a Houston-based E&P company focused in the Williston Basin’s Bakken Shale play, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on July 17.
Led by CEO Matt Steele, Bruin E&P Partners formed in 2015 with backing from Boston-based, private-equity-firm ArcLight Capital Partners LLC. Following two smallish acquisitions in 2016, Bruin bolstered its Bakken position in 2017 with a deal for Halcón Resources’ (now known as Battalion Oil Corp.) Williston Basin assets located in the heart of the play. The $1.4 billion cash transaction was backed by Arclight.
“Bruin has been one of the premier operators in the Williston Basin over the last five years and will continue to execute high return projects during the planned short restructuring period,” Steele said in a statement on July 17.
In a company release, Bruin said the company and its subsidiaries had entered a financial restructuring supported by more than two-thirds of all of Bruin’s funded debt creditors, and by its current equity holders. The company expects the transaction will eliminate over $840 million of Bruin’s funded debt.
The restructuring will be financed by a $230 million debtor-in-possession financing facility. Additionally, the company secured an exit financing of $230 million and emerge from Chapter 11 with approximately $230 million in funded debt.
In a 2018 interview, Steele told Hart Energy’s Oil and Gas Investor that Bruin’s position in the Williston Basin covered 160,000 net acres, all Bakken and Three Forks. The core of the position, 30,000 net acres, was located in North Dakota’s Mackenzie, Mountrail and Dunn counties on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation. The company operated 400 gross wells and had two rigs running as of late 2018.
On July 17, Bruin said it plans to continue to operate as normal for the duration of its restructuring. The company’s mineral interest and royalty owners as well as the majority of its trade creditors will be unimpaired from the restructuring, according to the Bruin release.
Kirkland & Ellis LLP is serving as legal counsel to Bruin. PJT Partners LLP is the company financial adviser and AlixPartners LLP is its restructuring adviser. Jackson Walker LLP is serving as local legal counsel.
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