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Energy XXI to delay interest payment due Tuesday

Feb 16 (Reuters) - Oil and natural gas producer Energy XXI Ltd said it chose not to make an interest payment due on Tuesday, to continue talks with its debtholders related to alternatives to improve its capital structure.

The company, which has a grace period of 30 days to make the payment, said it has retained PJT Partners LP and Vinson & Elkins LLP to advise its board in reviewing its debt.

Crude prices have slumped nearly 70 percent since June 2014, forcing oil and gas producers to restructure debt or seek bankruptcy protection.

Houston-based Energy XXI had $3.62 billion in long-term debt, excluding current maturities as of Dec. 31.

Net loss attributable to the company's shareholders widened to $1.31 billion in the fourth quarter, from $278.8 million a year earlier.

(Reporting by Amrutha Gayathri in Bengaluru)