Shale Drillers Aren’t As Safe As You May Think

1 Aug 2017   Shale Oil

It’s been the main headwind for OPEC’s oil output cut deal. Rising shale oil production in the U.S. has been making headlines for almost a year now. While initially the trend was met with understandable enthusiasm by lenders exposed to the industry, now both banks and analysts are beginning to worry about a repeat of what happened in 2014 and 2015 to shale oil, when unsustainable debt levels sank a lot of companies in the field. CNBC’s Tom DiChristopher reports that the average debt level of 38 U.S. drillers has fallen from more than 8 times EBITDA in the second quarter of last year to about 3 times EBITDA in Q2 2017, which is no doubt great news – but it doesn’t appear to have convinced analysts that the danger of more bankruptcies is behind us. DiChristopher quotes Stifel analysts as cautioning in a note from last week that […]

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