Caribbean Petroleum Corp (Capeco) filed for bankruptcy protection in a Delaware court late on Thursday, nearly ten months after a massive explosion at its major Puerto Rican fuel storage depot virtually shut down the company's operations.
The company, a primary importer and distributor of petroleum products in Puerto Rico, said it agreed to sell off all its assets through the bankruptcy process following extensive talks with its senior secured lender, Banco Popular de Puerto Rico
Banco Popular holds a lien on all of Capeco's assets and a claim of about $137 million.
Capeco said it had exhausted its working capital earlier this year and its operations remain halted due to clean-up and repair that must be conducted on the property.
Last November, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board said a malfunctioning fuel monitoring system was the likely cause of the explosion at Capeco's facility in Bayamon, near San Juan.
Although no one was killed, hundreds of people were evacuated. The blast damaged homes and businesses more than a mile from the facility.
In its Chapter 11 petition, Capeco listed assets in the $100 million to $500 million range and liabilities in the $500 million to $1 billion range.
The case is In re: Caribbean Petroleum Corp, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware (Delaware), No: 10-12553.
(Reporting by Santosh Nadgir in Bangalore; Editing by Prem Udayabhanu)