Pittsburgh-based natural gas driller files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

PITTSBURGH — Abarta Oil & Gas Co. LLC, a Pittsburgh-based oil and gas drilling company, filed late Sunday for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

The company, also known as Abarta Energy and headquartered at 200 Alpha Drive in Pittsburgh, reported liabilities of $25.4 million and assets of $4.2 million. In court filings, Abarta Oil & Gas said it wants to sell its remaining oil and gas assets and wind down its business that stretches back to the late 1970s and included wells in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Kentucky. It’s asking the Bankruptcy Court’s approval for the sale of its interest in a 1,722-acre natural gas field and gathering pipeline in Bradford County. Its parent company is Abarta Inc., to which it owes $10 million.

By far the largest creditor is Dominion Field Services, a pipeline company based in Pittsburgh whose parent company is energy giant Dominion (NYSE: X). Abarta Oil & Gas owes $2.8 million as part of a settlement to Dominion made in 2016 when Abarta terminated a gas transmission agreement in Pennsylvania. It also owes $170,000 to another pipeline company, BHE Eastern Gas Transmission, from an agreement that wasn’t picked up when Abarta Oil & Gas sold oil and gas assets in West Virginia.

In a filing Monday, Abarata Oil & Gas said its trouble began in 2015 during an earlier period of natural gas commodity declines, which dragged on the company as well as what it termed in a filing as substantial debt.

Read more in the Pittsburgh Business Times.