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

It may be that the swan song for reserve-based lending (RBL)—the seemingly indefatigable financial legs of the oil and gas industry—will play out with a slightly befuddled shrug.

RBL financing helped create the shale run that fueled U.S. oil production growth of more than 960% in the past decade, according to Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) data.

Yet after years of solid support, banks are finally edging toward the door, their RBL loans in tatters after years of bad prices, bad luck and bankruptcies.

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