Axis Onshore files for bankruptcy

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 27, 2010

VIDALIA — The bankruptcy of oil company Axis Onshore could resonate through the local oil industry.

Axis, the local subsidiary of TriDimension Energy, filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy Friday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Dallas.

In the list of top 40 creditors the company owes money, 14 are from Jonesville, Natchez or Vidalia. Nearly $1.7 million is owed locally.

A local representative from Axis said he had been instructed not discuss the matter, and several of the creditors declined to discuss it pending further legal action.

But Morgan Ryan, the operations manager for Vital Oil Well Services and Miss-Lou Oil Well Supply, said the bankruptcy could have a significant impact on the area.

“This isn’t a little oil company we are talking about here,” Ryan said. “I would almost put them up against Denbury (Resources Inc.) and McGowan (Working Partners) as far as the amount of work they generated.”

Miss-Lou Oil Well Supply was Axis’ main supplier for rigs and other supplies, and Ryan said the company had put liens in place in January.

“About a year and a half ago they were into us for quite a bit a money, and we had to give them a half-million dollar discount so we could make it at the time before they could give us any money,” he said.

Ryan also expressed doubt that the sale of Axis’ holdings in the area would cover all of its debts.

“It makes it tough for the local guy to swallow that kind of money,” he said. “We had to buy that product, we had to pay for those man hours and for it to disappear really hurts.”

Petroleum Geologist Ed Godfrey said he thinks the company could meet its debts if it stopped spending on drilling and focused on the wells it currently has that are producing.

It’s also important to remember that the local wells aren’t going to be just abandoned because the company that owns them at the moment has gone bankrupt, Godfrey said.

“It is interesting to see what happens to all the wells they have got,” he said. “They have well over 200 in Louisiana and 20 in Mississippi that they operate, so obviously there is going to be a transition.”

The local debts from the list of Axis’ top 40 creditors include:

$438,610.71 to White’s T&J Oilfield Supply, Inc. of Jonesville.

$314,648.95 to E-operating of Vidalia

$283,509.39 to Telluride Exploration, LLC of Vidalia.

$166,414 to Vital Oil Well Services of Vidalia.

$165,608.26 to Miss-Lou Oil Well Supply, LLC of Vidalia.

$117,605 to Golden West Holdings of Vidalia.

$36,900 to Buena Vista Corporation of Natchez.

$32,272.28 to W.T. Drilling Company Inc. of Natchez.

$31,750.85 to Vital Oil Well Services of Vidalia.

$30,894.57 to Vital Oil Well Services of Vidalia.

$25,757.50 to Chess Well Service of Jonesville.

$21,300.95 to Rudy Kruger Warehouse of Natchez.

$18,837.50 to Alton Daniels Consulting of Natchez.

$15,596 to Gwin, Lewis and Punches of Natchez.