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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Day of Reckoning Coming for Oil Producers with Big Debts

From the New York Times:
On the 15th floor of an office tower in Midland looms a five-foot-long trophy black bear, shot by the son of an executive at Caza Oil & Gas. 
But it is Caza that has recently fallen prey to a different kind of predator stalking the Texas oil patch: too much debt. 
While crude prices have dropped more than 70 percent over the last 20 months, a reckoning in the nation’s vast oil industry has only just begun. Until recently, companies were able to ride out the slump using hedges to sell their oil for higher than the low market prices. 
In recent months, however, most of those hedges expired, leaving a number of oil companies low on cash and unable to pay their debt. More broadly, energy executives and their lenders are realizing that a recovery in oil prices is at least a year away, too long for many companies to hold out.
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