Oil Sands Truth: Shut Down the Tar Sands

BA Energy first tar sands developer to file for bankruptcy protection

BA Energy first oil sands developer to file for protection
Financial Post
Wednesday, January 14, 2009

CALGARY -- BA Energy Inc., developer of the $4-billion Heartland
Upgrader near Edmonton, Wednesday became the first oil sands company to
file for bankruptcy protection, fearing its parent company's major
lender, Credit Suisse, will recall a US$507-million loan.

Columba Yeung, chief executive of parent company Value Creation Inc.,
said that company could default on its multi-million bank loan after BA
was unable to repay it a $50-million loan. BA's failure to make good on
this debt allows Value Creation's lenders to demand immediate payment of
the US$507-million loan, Mr. Yeung said in an affidavit filed Dec. 30,
2008 with the Alberta's Court of Queen's Bench. The filing was made
under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act.

"BA is suffering from a cash flow shortage and as such will be unable to
repay a loan ... of approximately $50-million plus interest to VCI due
Dec. 31, 2008," Mr. Yeung said in the affidavit, posted on the Web site
of Ernst & Young Inc., acting as the monitor for BA's restructuring
under CCAA.

Mr. Yeung said failure to repay the loan might place Value Creation in
default of its main credit facility, allowing the lenders to accelerate
repayment and immediately demand the full amount of the loan.

In an interview, Mr. Yeung said he still hopes a solution can be found
ahead of a hearing Friday before Justice Barbara Romaine.

He blamed the credit crisis for BA's need to file for court protection.

"Who could have foreseen this recession, and the oil price going to the
US$30s?" Mr. Yeung said.

"All the equity and debt markets are totally frozen, and (we are) in the
middle of a major project that needs money."

As oil prices collapsed last fall, BA Energy became one of a long list
of oil sands companies that deferred projects.

Its upgrader, originally designed to process bitumen from third parties,
was already under construction.

Mr. Yeung created both BA and Value Creation, both private companies.
Value Creation holds vast oil sands leases near Fort McMurray.

In Mr. Yeung's affidavit, he said the two companies have more than
$768-million in assets and BA Energy has a tax pool of more than

In March last year, Value Creation acquired BA and was in the process of
amalgamating the sister companies.

Value Creation is in "recent and ongoing discussions" with "an
international state-owned oil company" for an equity injection and a
joint venture, Mr. Yeung said in the affidavit.

But the foreign company backed off its offer for an investment because
of concerns over the lenders' intentions, he said.

He tells the court that if BA's Energy's restructuring plan, which
includes its amalgamation with Value Creation, isn't approved, BA would
be forced to sell its assets as well as some of Value Creation's assets
"certaintly at far below market value."

Value Creation is a top oil sands lease holder with 3.2 billion barrels
of contingent resources. It wanted to turn them into a major project
called Terre De Grace using new technologies developed by Mr. Yeung that
he believes would have been made money at US$40 a barrel.


Oilsandstruth.org is not associated with any other web site or organization. Please contact us regarding the use of any materials on this site.

Tar Sands Photo Albums by Project

Discussion Points on a Moratorium

User login


Syndicate content