[Editor's note: A version of this story appears in the July 2018 edition of Oil and Gas Investor. Subscribe to the magazine here.]

On the surface, Matt McCarroll was calm—even optimistic. The founder and CEO of Fieldwood Energy LLC authored an audacious plan to rescue his company.

Fieldwood would buy Gulf of Mexico (GoM) deepwater assets from Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE: NBL) for $480 million in cash. Simultaneously, it would enter Chapter 11 bankruptcy, hauling more than $3 billion of debt into a courthouse to reorganize its finances.

The company would also have to turn back a wave of skepticism.

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