Weatherford’s growing debt forces company to Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Oilfield services provider Weatherford International Plc plans to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

With operations in 90 countries and offices in Oklahoma City, the company has been saddled with a heavy debt load and years of losses. At one time, the company was valued at more than $50 billion but it never recovered from the oil price collapse in 2014.

In announcing the move to bankruptcy court, Weatherford management said they hope to reduce long-term debt by more than $5.8 billion through restructuring.

Weatherford’s shares plunged 61% to 14 cents in extended trading on Friday after the company reported the plan to seek protection from creditors and a wider quarterly loss.

For the period ended March 31, it posted a loss of $481 million, or 48 cents a share, compared with a loss of $245 million, or 25 cents, a year earlier. Revenue fell 5.4 percent to $1.35 billion.

 

Weatherford provides oil-and-gas well construction and completion, drilling and evaluation, and production services. It had about 26,000 employees at the end of March.

Weatherford reported total liabilities of $10.6 billion and assets of $6.52 billion on March 31. It has not reported a quarterly profit in four years.

 

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