The biggest independent shale oil groups in the U.S. reported a record combined loss of $26 billion in the first quarter as the sector braces itself for a wave of bankruptcies over the next two years.

The collapse in crude demand brought about by the coronavirus pandemic forced more than $38 billion in write-offs among top producers, according to analysis by Rystad Energy, sending net losses tumbling well below an average of $2.9 billion in the past six years.

U.S. energy groups have been caught in the eye of the storm as lockdowns aimed at stemming the spread of COVID-19 slashed energy demand and crashed the oil market.

Already have an account? Log In

Thanks for reading Hart Energy.

Subscribe now to get unmatched coverage of the oil and gas industry’s entire landscape.

Get Access