ATP Oil & Gas Corporation (NASDAQ:ATPG) Finally Applies for Bankruptcy, Whom To Blame?

ATP Oil & Gas Corporation (NASDAQ:ATPG) on Friday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, saying that its financial position has been impacted by the stoppage in deep-water drilling for many months following the blowout of the BP Plc well off the Louisiana coast in April 2010.

CEO Paul Bulmahn has blamed the Obama administration for the current state of affairs of the company, saying that the illegal ban enforced on deep-water drilling that had brought the company to its current state of affairs.

“It is all directly attributable to what the government did to us,” he rails. “This Administration has gone out of its way to create problems for my company, the company that I formed from scratch.”

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The Gulf of Mexico oil producer has run up debts worth $3.49 billion against assets of $3.64 billion. It said that it would continue with its operations while it restructured. The company has obtained $618 million as debtor-in-possession financing.

The company said that the bankruptcy filing had been done with the purpose of undertaking a comprehensive financial restructuring.

ATP was not the only company to be affected by BP's blowout in the Gulf of Mexico region, but the impact on the company was greater because it is a smaller company than the others. It also had the disadvantage of having most of its operation concentrated in that region.

The development plans of the company and consequently its cash flows had been adversely affected by the U.S. moratorium which had stopped all drilling activities in the region for a long time, it said.

After the company had spent more than a billion dollars in setting up the required infrastructure for drilling in the region the U.S. government blocked its drilling plans and bring online six wells in 2010 and 2011 and that had affected its ability to repay the debts it had run up.

Last week, The WSJ’s sources said that the company may file for bankruptcy protection in near future

Shares in ATPG were trading at 46 cents last week.
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