UPDATE 1-California Resources pays interest on 2024 bond a month late – sources

(Adds shares, outstanding amount on the 2024 bond)

By Arathy S Nair

June 24 (Reuters) – U.S. oil and gas producer California Resources Corp last week paid interest due on an unsecured 2024 bond, about a month late, two people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

Shares of the company, California’s largest oil and gas producer, rose as much as 18% to $1.65 in after market trading on the news.

California Resources has been struggling with the sharp drop in oil prices and demand this year. It told investors last month it might not be able to continue operations without a debt restructuring.

The semi-annual coupon payment on its $2.25 billion senior unsecured note, of which $144 million is outstanding, was due on May 15, according to Refinitiv Eikon data. Corporate notes typically allow a grace period to make missed payments.

California Resources did not respond to a request for a comment.

“They must feel as though they have enough liquidity to get through the short term and stave off a restructuring and hope for commodity prices to return,” said John Thieroff, a vice president at Moody’s Investors Service, which has a non-investment grade rating on the company’s debt.

The company, which had about $4.9 billion in long-term debt at the end of 2019, recently entered forbearance agreements with banks after missing another interest payment due on May 29. (Reporting by Arathy S Nair and Shariq Khan in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)

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