By David Wethe
The Scoop shale play in Oklahoma, one of the areas where Gulfport bought assets, moved from being an exploration hot spot a few years ago to an area of little relevance after its geology proved too challenging. There are just a few drilling rigs remaining in the state, down from over 200 in 2014, according to Baker Hughes data.
More roadblocks appeared when the coronavirus prompted widespread lockdowns that decimated global demand for fuels. More than 230 oil and gas explorers have filed for bankruptcy since 2015, with total debt of over $150 billion, according to a July report from law firm Haynes and Boone.
Gulfport’s ability to reject gas transportation service agreements with Rockies Express Pipeline LLC under bankruptcy could be limited after the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently declared them in public interest.
The largest unsecured creditor is UBM Financial Corp. which holds about $1.8 billion of notes due 2023 to 2026, according to the filing.
Gulfport shares, which traded as high as $3.38 in December 2019, were worth about 24 cents as of the company’s Chapter 11 filing.
The case is in re Gulfport Energy Corp., 20-35562, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Texas.