May 18, 2016 - 6:12 PM EDT
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American Energy Partners LP to close

May 19--American Energy Partners executives on Wednesday began taking steps to close the business, the company's leadership team confirmed.

Nearly half the Oklahoma City company's 100 employees were laid off Wednesday, and the remaining employees have begun closing the company through a process expected to take two to four months, according to a source knowledgeable of the situation.

American Energy Partners' actions Wednesday follow a series of bankruptcies and layoffs in the oil and natural gas industry as nearly two years of low prices have reduced revenues and led to budget cuts throughout the oil patch.

American Energy Partners and Aubrey McClendon in November 2015 were involved in an attempt to raise up to $2 billion, but scrapped the effort after just $11.2 million was raised.

"After considerable thought and discussion with (founder) Aubrey McClendon's family, and our employees, we have made a collective decision to wind down the operations of American Energy Partners LP," the company's leadership team said in a statement.

The statement was attributed to Chief Financial Officer Scott R. Mueller, Chief Investment Officer Ryan A. Turner and Chief Legal Officer Tom J. Blalock.

Founded in 2013 by Chesapeake Energy Corp. co-founder Aubrey McClendon, American Energy Partners raised more than $15 billion and employed about 800 people at its peak. The company operates out of a former Chesapeake building less than a mile from the Chesapeake campus.

McClendon died in a car crash March 2. The company has since been led by Mueller, Turner and Blalock, who also is executor of McClendon's estate.

"We are proud to have had the opportunity to work with Aubrey," the leadership team said in the statement. "Through his strategic vision and tireless efforts along with the most dedicated employees in the industry, the numerous businesses we founded together have shown tremendous resiliency in the face of the historically difficult industry environment.

Over the past two years, American Energy Partners has created five independent, stand-alone companies, which are not affected by American Energy Partner's actions this week.

The former American Energy Partner companies are Ascent Resources, Whitestar Energy, Permian Resources, Traverse Midstream and Heritage Resource Management. Each of those companies has its own management team and employees and is no longer affiliated with American Energy Partners.

American Energy Partners and its affiliates also signed international deals for oil and natural gas development in Argentina, Mexico and Australia. Those contracts were owned by McClendon personally, the source said. They are part of McClendon's estate and are not under American Energy Partners.


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Source: News (May 18, 2016 - 6:12 PM EDT)

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