Struggling Delta Petroleum may be sold

Delta Petroleum, which completed the sale of all remaining assets other than those in the Collbran area, says it has begun evaluating the possible sale of the company.

Denver-based Delta said in a news release it has begun looking at strategic alternatives, including a sale, to try to maximize shareholder value and deal with debt that comes due next year.

The financially struggling company on June 28 completed a $43.2 million sale of assets in Texas and in the DJ Basin, centered in northeastern Colorado. Last year it sold another $130 million in assets, including an interest in lease acreage near Parachute, and it used $112 million from the sale to pay down debt and cover transaction costs. Both sales were to Wapiti Oil & Gas LLC.

Delta holds oil and gas leases for the equivalent of about 22,000 acres in the Collbran area. There, it has been drilling in the Williams Fork sandstone formation, the traditional focus of natural gas development in the Piceance Basin. It also has been exploring the lower Mancos shale and other formations, where it has reported promising early results.

Delta lost $30 million in the first quarter, $182.3 million last year, $328.8 million in 2009 and $456 million in 2008.


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