US oil producer Venoco files for bankruptcy protection

U.S. oil and gas producer Venoco filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Friday, joining more than 40 energy-related firms that have sought court protection from creditors since oil prices started plummeting in mid-2014.

Denver, Colorado-based Venoco listed assets of between $100 million and $500 million and liabilities of between $500 million and $1 billion.

Venoco, which was taken private in 2012, said on Friday it had reached an agreement with its senior lenders to eliminate about $1 billion of debt.

The company missed a $13.7 million interest payment on senior unsecured notes due Feb.16.

At the time, the company said it had enough liquidity to continue normal operations, but added that declining oil prices and the closure of a pipeline belonging to Plains All American were presenting “serious problems.”

The company said it had been forced to cut its output by more than 50 percent as a result of the closure.

Venoco’s main assets are located both onshore and offshore in southern California. It had 158 employees at the end of 2014


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