Coping with a

messy restatement of its financials and its energy reserves,

El Paso


got an extension Wednesday to file its 2003 annual report.

The Houston-based exploration and production company said it got "additional waivers" on its $3 billion revolving credit line and other financings. The company said the waivers give it until Aug. 15 to file its annual report and first-quarter 10-Q.

El Paso also said the waivers allow for "a 29-day grace period to file financial statements in the event that El Paso or any of its significant subsidiaries receives a notice of default on any debt or guarantee of debt that in aggregate exceeds $100 million."

The development comes as the company struggles to set its books right following a series of shocking reversals this year. In February, El Paso

slashed its proved reserves by 41%. Then, last month, it said it may have to take a charge

even larger than the $1 billion it had warned of.

The stumbles have left some investors wondering

what's next at the company, particularly at its hard-hit but crucial exploration and production arm. Other observers have been concerned about the company's relationship with its creditors, a worry that presumably was eased by Wednesday's announcement.

On Wednesday, El Paso shares rose 7 cents to $7.42.