According to the law firm Haynes and Boone, 50 energy companies filed for bankruptcy in the first nine months of 2019. These include 33 oil and gas producers, 15 oilfield services companies, and two midstream companies.
Market Realist said in a December 4 report that the number of oil and gas bankruptcies in the first nine months of 2019 is already higher than in all of 2018. Haynes and Boone noted that 43 oil and gas companies, including 28 producers, filed for bankruptcy in 2018.
A rise in the number of oil and gas bankruptcies in 2019 is concerning, particularly because bankruptcies had peaked in 2016 and were on a downtrend in 2017 and 2018.
The prominent upstream bankruptcies in 2019 included Legacy Reserves and Sanchez Energy. More recently, EP Energy filed for bankruptcy in October.
On the other hand, Weatherford International was the top oilfield service bankruptcy during the year. The midstream energy segment felt comparatively less heat during the energy price turmoil. In 2019, only two midstream companies—Southcross Energy Partners and Cobra Pipeline—went bankrupt.