Frac Specialists Cuts Debt but Still Has to Make Chapter 11 Filing

NEW YORK (The Deal) -- Despite reducing what it owes Capital One Bank NA by $15 million since January, oilfield services provider Frac Specialists LLC has filed for bankruptcy with plans to restructure its prepetition debt.

The Midland, Texas, company and affiliates Acid Specialists LLC and Cement Specialists LLC submitted a Chapter 11 petition in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas in Fort Worth on Sunday, May 17. The companies requested joint administration in a motion filed the same day.

In addition to seeking joint administration, the companies want clearance to access their cash collateral so they can continue operating.

Judge D. Michael Lynn, who is presiding over the case, has yet to set any hearing dates.

According to a Sunday motion, secured lender Capital One holds a security interest on all the debtor's cash.

The debtors borrowed $25 million from the bank on Sept. 19. As of the petition date, Capital One was owed about $7 million.

In a Sunday cash collateral motion, Frac Specialists said since January, the debtors have reduced their collective secured debt with Capital One to $7 million from $22 million.

"Nevertheless, the bank insisted that the debtors pledge additional collateral to secure the indebtedness," the motion said.

"The debtors became concerned that the bank intended to offset funds in the debtors' operating accounts if the debtors did not agree to pledge additional collateral to the bank," according to the motion. "These bankruptcy cases were filed in part as a preventative measure to preserve all assets, including working capital, for the benefit of all creditors and to provide the debtors with sufficient cash reserves to successfully reorganize."

Additionally, the companies attributed their filings to the "dramatic decrease in U.S. oilfield service intensity" that have led to a drop in cash flow.

"The companies believe that activity levels have hit bottom and are again on the rise," the motion said. "The companies are aggressively cutting operating expenses, becoming more efficient during the downturn, and believes their profitability will return as these internal changes are implemented and the overall oil industry increases."

Court papers show the companies intend to "implement a business strategy that will ensure the debtors' financial stability."

The companies said they are evaluating their businesses and will devise a reorganization plan to "restructure the debtors' prepetition obligations and to provide equitable treatment for their secured and unsecured creditors."

Acid Specialists was founded in 2008 and provides acid and related chemical pressure-pumping services to maintain production in older oil and gas wells.

Cement Specialists was founded in 2010 and provides cementing services, including remedial work, production, surface casing and more.

"Fracs" are pieces of equipment used in artificially creating fractures in order to extract oil and/or natural gas underground, and Frac Specialists founded in 2011, offers various types of such tools, including energized fluid fracs, slick water fracs, cross-linked fracs and gelled water fracs.

The companies operate exclusively in the Permian Basin in the western part of Texas.

In 2014, the companies reported $204.1 million in Ebitda and $6.8 million in revenue.

In its petition, Frac Specialists reported $50 million to $100 million in assets and liabilities. The company's largest unsecured creditors include Pel-State Services (owed $879,904), Dragon Products Ltd. ($869,993), Chemplex Advanced Materials LLC ($708,367), L&O Xtreme Hauling LLC ($467,174) and TSI Flow Products ($347,022).

Debtor counsel Jeff P. Prostok at Forshey & Prostok LLP couldn't be reached for comment on Monday. Lynda L. Lankford at the same firm is also debtor counsel.

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