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SemGroup Still Courting Buyers Following Bankruptcy

With an outside rescue yet to materialize, SemGroup LP, which filed for bankruptcy in July after announcing $3.2 billion in trading losses, said last week its management is committed to maximizing recoveries for creditors and equity holders, as required by the bankruptcy code.

The company, a major oil and natural gas transportation and storage provider in the Midwest, said it will consider all restructuring proposals, including any plan that may be forthcoming from a group led by John Catsimatidis. In mid-December Catsimatidis, chairman of privately held Red Apple Group, said he intended to develop a reorganization plan for SemGroup (see NGI, Dec. 22, 2008). SemGroup said it will continue to market its assets and evaluate offers. If and when Catsimatidis makes a formal restructuring proposal, it will receive the same consideration as any other proposal, SemGroup said.

SemGroup's losses came in crude oil deals on the New York Mercantile Exchange and over-the-counter energy derivatives markets. In July the company said it planned to liquidate most of its assets (see NGI, July 28, 2008).

While SemGroup's assets are weighted toward oil refining and transportation, its natural gas gathering and processing assets in the U.S. and Canada are also substantial. The company's SemGas subsidiary operates four gathering systems in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas with approximately 800 miles of low-pressure lines, three processing plants with combined capacity of 80 MMcf/d and two storage projects under development that will offer 11 Bcf of capacity.

In Canada SemGroup's subsidiaries include SemCAMS, one of the largest licensed sour gas processors in Alberta with four gas processing plants and more than 600 miles of gathering pipeline, and SemCanada Energy Co., which claims to be Canada's leading independent gas marketing and energy asset management company.

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