Higher oil prices outweigh rising interest rates so far; debt investors continue to express confidence in E&Ps
During the oil boom, E&Ps financed rocketing production growth and sizable cash flow deficits with cheap money during a low interest rate environment. Total debt for the companies doubled from $125 billion in 2010 to $250 billion in 2015, as shown in the chart below. As debt ballooned and as oil prices collapsed, as many as 160 North American E&Ps declared bankruptcy or commenced strategic reviews.
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