ATP Oil & Gas Corp. (ATPG:US), the oil explorer whose new chief executive officer quit after less than a week in June, was sued by Macquarie Investments LLC for allegedly failing to pay royalties.
The claims are in connection with operations conducted on Outer Continental Shelf, or OCS, leases located in federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of, and adjacent to, Louisiana “that involve the exploration, development, or production of minerals and involve rights to such minerals,” lawyers for Sydney-based Macquarie said in court papers filed Aug. 7 in federal court in New Orleans.
The OCS leases cover submerged lands adjacent to the following parishes in Louisiana: Lafourche Parish, Terrebonne Parish, St. Bernard Parish, Jefferson Parish, and Plaquemines Parish, according to court papers.
ATP has $1.5 billion of 11.875 percent notes due May 2015. In downgrading the firm’s credit rating to CCC on Aug. 1, Standard & Poor’s said ATP won’t have money for its next coupon payment and other planned spending unless it obtains outside financing. ATP had $224.7 million in cash and cash equivalents on March 31, according to a May regulatory filing.
The oil explorer arranged loan financing ahead of a possible bankruptcy filing, said two people with direct knowledge of the matter. The so-called debtor-in-possession loan of $600 million is being provided by Credit Suisse Group AG, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the process is private.
The case is Macquarie Investments v. ATP Oil & Gas Corp., 12-cv-02032, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana.
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