The spate of bankruptcies for over-leveraged E&P companies could be reduced somewhat this year as some producers have restructured their debt and oil prices have rebounded.
When oil prices plummeted to $30 per barrel from over $100 in 2014, oil companies faced headwinds and many of them were forced to file for bankruptcy starting in 2015. Over-leveraged energy companies that had relied solely on higher crude oil prices to bail them out of extremely high debt loads in the billions could no longer meet their debt service payments even as they slashed costs.
Low oil prices hit the energy industry hard as 144 companies succumbed and were forced to file for bankruptcy and creditors received only a small fraction of their investment. These bankruptcies involve approximately $90.2 billion in cumulative secured and unsecured debt.