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Whiting Petroleum (WLL) Rises From The Chapter 11 Ashes

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Whiting Petroleum Corporation (WLL - Free Report) has emerged from bankruptcy and its ownership will be made available to the public on the New York Stock Exchange starting today.

The company also completed its financial streamlining, thereby minimizing its funded debt by about $3 billion. This U.S. shale producer’s capital rearrangement comprises a new $750-million reserve-based revolving credit facility with maturity date in April 2024. Whiting Petroleum’s existing shareholders will receive one share of the company's reorganized new common stock for approximately every 75 shares previously owned.

The Bankruptcy and Financial Rejig

Whiting Petroleum filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy on Apr 1, 2020 and finally overcame the crisis through a strenuous restructuring process on Sep 1.

The firm struggled with fund crunch due to the global oil market collapse amid slackened world energy demand and weakness in oil prices triggered by the coronavirus pandemic and the Russia-Saudi Arabia price war. The company was the first publicly traded shale producer to file for bankruptcy after the historic crash in crude prices during March.

In late April 2020, Whiting Petroleum entered into a restructuring support agreement with creditors of its 1.25% convertible senior notes due 2020, 5.750% senior notes due 2021, 6.250% senior notes due 2023 and 6.625% senior notes due 2026.

Per the plan, Whiting Petroleum exchanged 97% of the new equity of the realigned company for eliminating more than $2.3 billion of its debt, refinancing its revolving credit facility and paying up all its other secured lenders and employees. This apart, 3% of the new equity of the reorganized company and warrants will be added to its existing stockholder value.

The reorganization program was implemented to bail Whiting compete out of the current challenging environment by addressing its balance sheet issues, capitalizing on the cost structure and generating sufficient liquidity in a highly capital-constrained market.

Moelis & Company (MC - Free Report) , Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Jackson Walker, and Alvarez & Marsal were Whiting Petroleum’s financial, legal and restructuring advisors.

 Management Reshuffle

The company appointed Lynn Peterson as the new CEO. Further, James Henderson took over as the chief financial officer succeeding Correne S. Loeffler. All these changes in the executive leadership are already effective Sep 1. Meanwhile, Chip Rimer will continue as Whiting’s Chief Operating Officer.

About the Company          

Founded in 1980, Denver, CO-based Whiting Petroleum is an independent energy company engaged in exploration, development and production of crude oil and natural gas properties in the United States. With the majority of its output coming from the Bakken play, the company holds one of the largest acreage positions in the region. It currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Some better-ranked players in the energy sector are Murphy USA Inc. (MUSA - Free Report) and CNOOC Limited (CEO - Free Report) , both stocks presently sporting a Zacks Rank #1.

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