Pacific E&P works to make bond payments as Feb. deadline looms
By Nelson Bocanegra
BOGOTA Feb 5 (Reuters) - Colombia's largest private oil producer Pacific Exploration & Production is working to avoid default on bond payments as it comes up against a Feb. 10 deadline to complete negotiations with its bondholders.
Analysts said the likelihood of a bond default was growing, after Pacific used a 30-day grace period to extend January interest payments of more than $66 million.
Such an extension was agreed to in the bond contracts, but rating agencies still lowered Pacific ratings to default level.
The Toronto-based company, like other energy producers, has been functioning in an environment of declining crude prices and with the refusal of state-owned Ecopetrol to renew its lease on the Rubiales oilfield.
Investment firm EIG Global Energy Partners, a subsidiary of Harbour Energy Ltd, has offered to buy all of approximately $4.1 billion in Pacific debt.
Pacific has not responded to the offer, but it said in an emailed response to queries from Reuters that it reserves the right to make payments before the period expires.
"We continue to analyze all the scenarios and available options to improve our structuring of capital, including, as we have announced, renegotiation with creditors," the company wrote the email.
On Thursday Pacific extended until February 26 its minimum liquidity deadline with a group of banks with which it has $1 billion in loans. Continued...