There are few better ways to make money vaporize than by placing a bet at the horse track. Which is why there ought to be a stalking-horse track. Why bet against the house when you can bid for it? In truth, the stalking-horse derby for bankrupt oil and gas assets has started to pick up some momentum.

Zarvona Energy LLC’s stalking-horse bid resulted in a $115.5 million deal for Approach Resources. Mach Resources LLC closed a $220 million acquisition of Alta Mesa Resources. And Presidio Petroleum turned a $91 million deal with Templar Energy.

The three companies entered bankruptcy with a combined $4.9 billion in debt. For a total payout of less than $430 million, the debt-laden assets sold for roughly $0.09 on the dollar.

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