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Oil Patch Bankruptcies Hit $34.3 Billion

By Rupert Hargreaves

The number of oil patch bankruptcies continues to rise, and the number of companies filing for creditor protection is accelerating, that's according to according to law firm Haynes and Boone LP's May Oil Patch Bankruptcy Monitor.

ValueWalk has followed the trends in Haynes and Boone's Oil Patch Bankruptcy Monitor closely since its inception last year.

Up until April of this year, the number of oil patch bankruptcies was growing steadily but seemed to be manageable. Indeed, between last November and March this year, 15 firms collapsed owing a total of $4.4 billion in both secured and unsecured debt.

However, after a relatively subdued start to the year, April turned into a blood bath for struggling oil companies and their creditors as 18 North American oil and gas producers filed for Chapter 11 listing $14.9 billion in debt, more than any other month covered by the report so far. A significant portion of the April cases were...