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BPZ Resources files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, citing plunge in oil prices

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Oil and natural gas exploration BPZ Resources is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, citing the plunge in oil prices and its inability to find financing.

The Houston company said Monday it wants to stay in business. It is filing its petition for bankruptcy reorganization in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas.

The move comes after years of losses: BPZ Resources Inc. has reported an annual loss every year since at least 2005, losing about $280 million over that period. It took a loss of $51.4 million over the first three quarters of 2014, although its revenue rose 70 per cent to $65.6 million compared to the same period in 2013. It had short- and long-term debt of $228.6 million outstanding as of Sept. 30.

BPZ Resources Inc. owns oil and natural gas acreage in Peru and off the coat of the South American nation. Oil prices have tumbled more than 50 per cent since mid-2014. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils used by many U.S. refineries, closed at $58.53 a barrel Monday.

Benchmark U.S. crude rose 39 cents to close at $50 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils used by many U.S. refineries, fell closed at $58.53 a barrel in London. That’s about half its average price between 2011 and the middle of 2014.

Shares of BPZ Resources closed Monday at 6 cents, down 2 cents, on the over-the-counter market.