Longtime Fort Worth oil firm Duer Wagner III Oil & Gas has succumbed to falling oil prices and filed for bankruptcy protection, the second Fort Worth firm do so in the past few months.
Duer Wagner Oil said in its filings in bankruptcy court in Fort Worth that its revenues and profits have dropped more than 50 percent since the price per barrel began declining nearly a year ago.
The company filed the bankruptcy May 15 on behalf of 12 debtor companies, many with the names of well-known athletes, saying its liabilities were more than $120 million, most of that to a loan with LNV, a subsidiary of Beal Bank, from December 2013. The filing said more than 200 parties will have interest in the Chapter 11 reorganization case.
Duer Wagner Oil used oil and gas interests in 12 states, including Texas, as collateral on the loan. The company said it was unable to make its the first quarter payment this year and has since the end of 2014 been trying to renegotiate the note to no avail, the filing said.
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The names of some of his companies included Nowitzki Oil & Gas, Teixeira Oil & Gas and Modano Oil & Gas, the company names referring to Dallas Mavericks player Dirk Nowitzki, former Texas Rangers player Mark Teixeira and former Dallas Stars player Mike Modano.
“It is our policy not to publicly comment on the ongoing business activities of Duer Wagner III Oil and Gas, LP. However, we will confirm that the business names associated with some of the entities involved have no relation or connection to any sports athlete,” said John Bonds, the firm’s lawyer.
At the time it took the note with LNV, Duer Wagner Oil was “enjoying oil and gas nirvana.” The day it closed the note, the price per barrel was $97.14, the filing said.
Now, Duer Wagner said it filed for bankruptcy to be able to continue operating. Duer Wagner had some hedge agreements, but those were “insufficient to counteract the drastic drop in market price of oil and gas driving down the overall revenues of the debtor,” the filing said.
“Even if the price of oil had suddenly dropped by 30 percent, the debtors could have continued to operate their businesses in the ordinary course and make any and all debt service payments,” the filing said.
Duer Wagner spent his life in and around the oil and gas business, beginning as a driller, and for more than 30 years owned, managed and controlled oil and gas interests in Texas, Louisiana and North Dakota, the court filing said.
A Fort Worth native, Duer Wagner III has been involved in philanthropic causes in Fort Worth. He is a 1976 graduate of Trinity Valley School and a 1981 graduate of Texas Christian University, according to an online biography. He served as president of his family’s oil and gas and ranching business in Fort Worth until 1996, when he started his own independent oil and gas company.
The other Fort Worth energy company to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy was Quicksilver Resources. In its filing in March, the company said it was saddled with billions of dollars in debt and vexed by perennially low natural gas prices.
The company made a big move into the Barnett Shale and other shale natural gas fields across the country and in Canada last decade and then struggled with a big debt load after natural gas prices collapsed.
Sandra Baker, 817-390-7727