Bloomberg Law
Jan. 24, 2020, 6:23 PM

Oil Patch May See 40 U.S. Bankruptcies This Year, Law Firm Says

Sayer Devlin
Bloomberg Editorial
Christine Buurma
Christine Buurma
Bloomberg News

As many as 40 U.S. oil and natural gas companies could file for bankruptcy this year as the industry continues to grapple with depressed prices for the commodities, according to law firm Haynes & Boone LLP.

After plowing money into shale exploration in the past decade, drillers are facing a “wall of debt” beginning next year as surging crude and gas output keeps prices subdued, Buddy Clark, a partner at Haynes & Boone, said in a phone interview. Last year, 42 companies in the sector filed for protection from creditors, a 50% increase from the previous year.

The shale ...