[Editor’s note: Opinions expressed by the author are their own.]

It is less than two months since Donald Trump travelled to Texas to declare that the U.S. energy industry, laid low by this year’s oil price crash, was back on its feet. “We’re OK now,” the president told the assembled crowd.

But bankruptcy numbers released this week tell a different story. Another 16 upstream US oil and gas companies—producers and service providers—hit the wall in August, the same number as in July, according to law firm Haynes and Boone.

Bigger drillers such as Chaparral Energy Inc. and Valaris Plc have joined a pile-up that has seen companies with a combined $85 billion worth of debt file for protection from creditors over the past eight months.

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