Barnett Shale

Quicksilver Resources headed to auction block

A delegation of Japanese legislators is shown sections of drilling pipe by a Quicksilver Resources executive. Quicksilver sold 25 percent of its Barnett Shale holdings to Tokyo Gas in 2013.
A delegation of Japanese legislators is shown sections of drilling pipe by a Quicksilver Resources executive. Quicksilver sold 25 percent of its Barnett Shale holdings to Tokyo Gas in 2013. Star-Telegram archives

Quicksilver Resources will go on the auction block in December after the company spent more than a year searching for someone to buy its assets in the United States and Canada.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Laurie Silverstein in Delaware signed an order Tuesday allowing the sale. Fort Worth-based Quicksilver, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in March, stated in court documents that it has been trying to sell off assets since September 2014.

Court records also show that Quicksilver officials have tried to find ways to “address their numerous balance sheet and operational challenges” but were unable to get sufficient support for a Chapter 11 plan that is confirmable.

The auction will be held Dec. 9 at the Dallas offices of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld. A hearing to approve a sale of all or a portion of the assets will be held in bankruptcy court Dec. 14.

Quicksilver, a player in the Barnett Shale and other shale natural gas fields across the country and in Canada, in bankruptcy court reported having $1.21 billion in assets and $2.35 billion in debts

“This approach is grounded in the debtors’ belief that conducting a fair and robust auction at this time is the most viable alternative to maximize the distributable value of their assets and elicit valuable market feedback for their stakeholders,” court documents state.

Approval for the sale comes after a hearing in July in which Quicksilver was given more time to develop a restructuring plan with creditors. But the oil and gas producer said at the time that it would either reorganize or sell off some, or possibly all, of its assets.

Quicksilver, which made a big move into the Barnett Shale and other shale natural gas fields before prices slumped, reported $1.21 billion in assets and $2.35 billion in debts in its March filing.

The Chapter 11 case did not include Quicksilver’s Canadian subsidiary after it reached a temporary agreement with creditors to avoid default on those assets. The company tried to sell its holdings in the Horn River Basin in late 2014 and early 2015 — even marketing them to Asian buyers — but a deal didn’t emerge to avoid a bankruptcy.

Launched a half-century ago, Quicksilver exploded in size and scope during the natural gas revolution. Its headquarters are in Burnett Plaza in downtown Fort Worth, and it also has had offices in Glen Rose and Calgary, in Canada’s Alberta province.

Founded by the late Frank Darden, the company has long been controlled by the socially prominent Darden family. Glenn Darden, his son, served as president and chief executive officer.

Max B. Baker: 817-390-7714, @MaxbakerBB

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