Embattled KrisEnergy submits winding-up petition

Embattled independent oil exploration firm KrisEnergy said it is unable to pay its debts and will proceed to liquidation. It submitted a winding-up petition to the Cayman Islands' Grand Court on Friday, it said in a bourse filing that night.

The hearing date for the petition has yet to be fixed.

In making the decision, KrisEnergy said it had considered factors including its liabilities, which exceed the value of its assets; the "significantly lower" ultimate recovery and cash flow from the Apsara Mini Phase 1A development; the lack of an "acceptable" alternative restructuring option; as well as the lack of near-term infusion of funds available to the company.

In April, the firm said its financial restructuring plan was no longer viable due to disappointing production performance at its Apsara oilfield in offshore Cambodia. It had been banking on revenue from production there to get it through a drawn-out restructuring process with debts to the tune of US$476.8 million (S$631.4 million).

The company's biggest shareholder is Keppel Corp, which has a total exposure to KrisEnergy of about S$420 million.

In an April research note, DBS Group Research analyst Ho Pei Hwa said the debts to Keppel are backed by first-rights claim on KrisEnergy's oil and gas assets. She noted that a significant portion of the amount should be recouped via asset sale if KrisEnergy goes under.

Trading in KrisEnergy shares was suspended in August 2019.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 07, 2021, with the headline 'Embattled KrisEnergy submits winding-up petition'. Subscribe