Haynes & Boone: Oil Patch Bankruptcy Monitor

Haynes and Boone energy sector cartoon

While only three additional bankruptcies were filed in October, there have now been more than 500 bankruptcies filed in the North American oil and gas industry since 2015.

In their December monitoring report, Haynes & Boone LLP updates the number of oil producers that have filed bankruptcy since 2015 and examines the impacts and implications of the pandemic and economic fallout in 2020.

In October 2020, the industry reached a milestone, as the total number of producer bankruptcies exceeded 250. Combined with Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings of oilfield services companies, more than 500 bankruptcies have been filed in the North American oil and gas industry since 2015. In hindsight, 2020 stands out over this dismal period for the industry setting a number of records.

The total amount of secured and unsecured debt involved in the producer cases since 2015 is over $175 billion, with those in 2020 accounting for over 30% of total aggregate debt. 2020 also saw an increase in billion-dollar bankruptcies, with fourteen cases filed that year compared to 54 billion-dollar filing over the six-year period.

Haynes and Boone LLP is an international corporate law firm. Their lawyers have played a key role in a number of high-profile E&P, midstream, and oilfield service matters, including asset sales, refinancings, debt restructurings and Chapter 11 cases, representing debtors, creditors, energy lenders, and private equity investors.