OKLAHOMA CITY — When Oklahoma Natural Resources finally goes bankruptcy, the nation’s largest producer of natural gas will lose millions of dollars in revenue and be forced to lay off workers, according to a study.
The company says it expects to lose up to $3.6 billion in revenues and will be forced into bankruptcy proceedings in the next 18 months.
Oklahoma’s largest natural gas producer, ConocoPhillips, said it expects an expected loss of $1.9 billion to $2.6 a share in the third quarter.
It expects that amount to be covered by revenue from its long-term lease agreements with the state of Oklahoma, the company said.
But the company expects that revenue to drop by about $1 billion a year as it struggles to cover those losses.
The natural gas company has been struggling to keep up with rising prices for natural gas and oil.
A new study by the independent Taxpayers Protection Alliance, which is funded by the oil and gas industry, estimates that the company will owe more than $3 billion to its shareholders in the first quarter.
That includes a $2 billion payment to the federal government, the report said.
That amount, which includes the cost of the natural gas contract and related expenses, will likely add to the company’s financial woes.
The oil and energy industry has been fighting the state’s attempts to force the company into bankruptcy.
In February, the state passed legislation requiring the company to seek permission from the state to layoff workers and stop operating, but it was halted by a federal judge in February after a judge ruled that the bill violated the U.S. Constitution.
Oklahoma, which has more than 1,200 natural gas plants, has been under federal oversight since 2012, when it failed to meet an agreement with the Obama administration to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Oklahoma and its state partners, which include Texas, South Dakota, Montana and Wyoming, have pledged to cut their greenhouse gas pollution by at least 30% by 2025, but the deal has not been fully implemented.
The companies have said the agreement, which requires the companies to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions by 50% by 2020, will not be finalized until 2022.
The state has also said it has no intention of cutting emissions, and that it will continue to meet the agreement.