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Small Appalachian shale gas driller Rex Energy to file for Chapter 11

Appalachian shale gas driller Rex Energy Corp. plans to seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after posting a loss of $70.4 million in the first quarter and missing interest payments on second lien loans due in April, according to its most recent quarterly report to the SEC.

Rex also failed to deliver its fourth-quarter and year-end 2017 financial statements to its term lender, which called in its $274 million loan at the end of April, according to a Form 10-Q filed May 15.

"We do not have sufficient liquidity to repay these amounts," Rex said in the filing. "The Company has been unsuccessful in negotiating an alternative restructuring with its various stakeholders outside of a voluntary pre-arranged Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing."

Rex said it expected to file for Chapter 11 protection "immediately" but did not answer a call or email regarding its status May 17.

The company, founded in 2007, has a market capitalization of $5.5 million and produced 245,890 Mcf/d in March from 201 Marcellus Shale wells, all in Butler County, Pa., and another 58,015 Mcf/d in the fourth quarter from 33 Utica Shale wells in Carroll County, Ohio, according to state records.