[Editor's note: A version of this story appears in the January 2021 issue of Oil and Gas Investor magazine.]

A pre-Cyber Monday email arrived from Blank Bank, announcing a 20% sale on Blank gift cards.

First thought: Money’s on sale? Nah, no way. Second thought: The sky is falling. Third thought: This would certainly solve a lot of E&P companies’ debt problems, trading $80 for $100. Fourth thought: The sky is falling.

Of course, yes, the Subject line had been misread, likely due to the “Because 2020” Syndrome: Anything had become plausible by Nov. 29. Money was not on sale for 20% off. This was comforting; the sky was not falling. Still, how to solve the E&P debt problem?

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