Bankruptcy risks in the U.S. shale sector are rising, with weak oil prices and tightening access to credit worsening the outlook for some producers just as a “staggering” $86 billion in debt maturities start to come due.

Speculative-grade, or subinvestment, debt makes up more than 60% of the total to be repaid between now and 2024, “implying a higher degree of default risk for the industry”, said Moody’s, the rating agency, in a recent report.

Speculative-grade maturities will peak in 2022, dwarfing investment-grade maturities by almost two to one that year, Moody’s said.

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