North American oil and gas bankruptcies fell to just 43 filings in 2018, down from 70 a year prior, according to the law firm Haynes and Boone.
Bankruptcies have continued to decline since the last oil bust ended in late 2016. However, since early 2015, an estimated 367 companies have filed for bankruptcy, including 177 just in Texas.
The filings began after oil prices crashed from $100 per barrel in mid-2014 to a low of $26 in early 2016. Oil prices recovered back to a new high of $76 a barrel in the fall of 2017, but have since plunged back down to about $50, creating greater uncertainty in 2019.
All but 25 of the 367 bankruptcies have come in the upstream sector from either exploration and production companies or oilfield services firms. Some of these companies have cut their debt loads and successfully emerged from bankruptcy, but more of them are now defunct.
Some of the most notable filings in 2018 came from Dallas-based EXCO Resources and a series of Houston companies, including Fieldwood Energy, EV Energy Partners, Houston’s Erin Energy and Parker Drilling.
And several struggling companies this January are already fighting off delisting warnings from the major stock exchanges, including Weatherford International, Sanchez Energy, EP Energy and Camber Energy.
This article first appeared on the Houston Chronicle – an Energy Voice content partner. For more from the Houston Chronicle click here.