With North American E&P bankruptcy filings rising, the amount of associated debt has skyrocketed along with it as larger companies join smaller ones seeking protection, according to data from Haynes and Boone LLP.

The law firm, which has tracked bankruptcy filings among E&Ps since 2015, reported that 17 producers filed for bankruptcy during the third quarter this year. When added to the 23 others filed earlier this year, the total represents a 21% increase compared to the first nine months of 2019. The figures, however, are not as high as the 61 filed during the first three quarters of 2016 when a drilling surge led to an oil supply glut and the subsequent steep fall in oil prices.

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