With the continued slump in oil prices, many Louisiana energy and energy-service companies have been attempting to restructure their debts in an effort to avoid bankruptcy. Tidewater Inc., a New Orleans-based offshore service vessel provider, has been engaged in negotiations to rework its debt with lenders and noteholders since early 2016. About a month ago, however, the company warned that it may have to consider other options if it could not establish new terms with its lenders and note holders.
One of the options being considered by Tidewater is Chapter 11 reorganization. To avoid filing bankruptcy, Tidewater received an extension to continue the debt restructuring negotiations. As of the November 11, 2016, deadline, Tidewater and its lenders had not established those terms. The lenders and noteholders provided the company with some relief in the form of another extension. The extension pushes the deadline for negotiations until January 27, 2017.
Although Tidewater’s fleet contains 177 active vessels, it has downsized the number of its employees by roughly one-third in the past two years. The company plans to continue cutting its costs in hopes of making it through the decline in oil and gas prices. Despite these cuts, the company’s executive vice president and chief investor relations officer, Joseph Bennett, is committed to maintaining safety, “no matter what it takes.” But with energy and energy-service companies feeling the impacts of lower oil prices, maritime workers face longer hours and smaller crews. All of which make safety that much more important.
The law provides maritime workers with protections, including compensation if they are injured on the job. If you or a loved one has been injured while working on the water, contact us today for a free consultation. The maritime attorneys at Lambert Zainey, PLC have over 40 years of experience handling maritime injury claims and will fight to protect your rights.