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Report: Alta Mesa Resources under SEC probe over financial reporting failures

Alta Mesa Resources Inc. is under investigation at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for possible fraud after admitting failures in its financial reporting, the Houston Chronicle reported May 17.

The Houston-based oil and gas company, which laid off about one-third of its 200 employees and wrote down the value of its assets by $3.1 billion, is considering filing for bankruptcy, the report said. Alta Mesa has more than $1 billion in debt and may soon face default on more of its loans, having already defaulted on some after not reporting its first-quarter earnings by mid-May, according to the report.

Alta Mesa reportedly declined to detail the nature of its internal financial errors.

Alta Mesa said it is working with the SEC on the investigation and plans to fix its internal controls and financial reporting but did not provide a timeline for the implementation of a new system, according to the report. The SEC also does not comment on ongoing probes, the publication said.

The company said on May 17 that it recently received delisting warnings from the Nasdaq stock exchange due to delayed financial reports. According to the release, Alta Mesa did not comply with the market's continued listing standards because of the delays in filing its 10-Q report for the quarter ended March 31 and 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2018.

Alta Mesa focuses on unconventional oil and natural gas reserves in the Anadarko Basin in Oklahoma and offers midstream energy services in the STACK play of Oklahoma. It was formed as a result of Silver Run Acquisition Corp. II's merger with Kingfisher Midstream LLC and Alta Mesa Holdings LP in early 2018.