"Oversupply of offshore supply vessels along with the influx of newly built vessels resulting in low competitive charter rates compounded the financial difficulties of Ezra's business divisions," said Robin Chiu, the company's chief restructuring officer, in a court filing.
The decision to file for bankruptcy comes just weeks after its associate, EMAS Chiyoda-Subsea, also filed for Chapter 11 in the United States, underpinning the concerns in the sector.
"The Ezra Chapter 11 filing is intended to optimize the scope and extent of the restructuring options available and to protect the interests of all stakeholders of the company, including its creditors and shareholders, from hostile actions that could harm the company and its stakeholders by diminishing the group's value," it said in a statement to the SGX.
Ezra was once a $2 billion company, competing with great success for lucrative offshore contracts. But its market value has seen an aggressive decline in recent months, as investor worries over its debt and liabilities continued to mount. Its shares have fallen around 80 percent this year alone.
Experts who spoke to CNBC say nervous investors sensed that its contracts were getting cancelled or delayed and the turnaround wasn't progressing as fast as it should. By February, Ezra acknowledged its deteriorating outlook and warned the market that it faced a going concern issue, further testing the confidence of key stakeholders.
It attempted to stop the losses with a self-imposed trading halt in mid-March. But in a further worrying sign, it also disclosed guarantees on nearly $900 million in liabilities and loans for its troubled Emas Chiyoda Subsea stake.
"Ezra is one of the bigger sized companies here, so it was a bit of a concern that it's facing problems," said Daryl Liew, managing director and head of Portfolio Management at REYL.
"Whenever you lever up and you have such high debt levels leading into a time when (oil) prices are taking a big fall, it's always going to be an issue."
Two other entities under the group, Emas IT Solutions Pte Ltd (EMIT) and Ezra Marine Services Pte Ltd (EMS), were also included in the filing. The future of its other two other listed entities on the Singapore Exchange, Emas Offshore Limited (EOL) and Triyards, is still unknown.
Ezra said it would hold a meeting as soon as "reasonably practicable" to carry out a "transparent restructuring process" with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.