October has been billed as a pivotal month in which indebted shale companies would see their credit lines cut, precipitating a faster consolidation in the industry that would sow the seeds of a rebound.
But banks appear to be taking a more lenient approach than expected. A new Jeffries report says that only $450 million in borrowing bases have been cut, across more than 20 companies. That amounts to just 2 percent of available credit lines, much lower than the 15 percent reduction expected by analysts. In other words, banks are allowing drillers to continue to borrow, which could delay the inevitable balancing needed in the market.
The possibility of a wave of bankruptcies could be put on hold, after banks have been “surprisingly gentle,” as Jeffries put it in their report.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that indebted shale companies can right the ship. It may just delay the adjustment for oil markets. “It looks generally to me like it’s sort of kick the can down the road approach that’s being taken at this point but that really just pushes the day of reckoning into sort of the first quarter of next year,” Dave Lesar, Halliburton Chairman and CEO, told investors on October 19 when reporting quarterly earnings.Continue reading by clicking here.
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