According to Bloomberg, Hercules Offshore Inc., (Hercules Offshore) is the owner of the largest fleet of shallow-water drilling rigs in the Gulf of Mexico when it filed for bankruptcy in August 2015. Debt issues by Hercules Offshore and drilling rig provider Paragon Offshore were among the worst-performing oil and gas service bonds in the high-yield energy index.
The company plans to use the bankruptcy to cut $1.2 billion in debt and for investors to trade their senior notes for almost 97 percent of Hercules’s equity. In addition, noteholders would also lend the company $450 million to finish building a new oil-drilling rig. Meanwhile, the number of rigs operating in the Gulf of Mexico has fallen by more than half from last year’s high of 63 by August 2015.
Oil and gas and commodities related investments have been recommended by brokers under the assumption that commodities prices would continue to go up. Some experts are saying that if production volume continues to be as high as it currently is and demand growth weak that the return to $100 a barrel is years away.
Before recommending investments in oil and gas and commodities related investments, brokers and advisors must ensure that the investment is appropriate for the investor and conduct due diligence on the company in order to understand the risks and prospects of the company. Many of these companies relied upon high energy prices in order to sustain their operations. As reported by the Wall Street Journal the drop in oil and energy prices and the industry downturn has made it difficult for many companies to refinance their debts.
The investment attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP continue to report on investor losses in oil and gas related investments. Our firm is investigating potential securities claims against brokerage firms over sales practices related to the recommendations of oil & gas and commodities products such as exchange traded notes (ETNs), structured notes, private placements, master limited partnerships (MLPs), leveraged ETFs, mutual funds, and individual stocks.
Brokers who sell oil and gas and commodities products are obligated to understand the risks of these investments and convey them to clients. Investors who have suffered losses may be able recover their losses through securities arbitration. Our consultations are free of charge and the firm is only compensated if you recover.