HOUSTON, Jan 22 (Reuters) - The number of oil company bankruptcies rose 50% in 2019 over the previous year, as a slide in prices continued to shake producers in the United States and Canada, Dallas law firm Haynes and Boone said in a report released on Wednesday.
U.S. and Canadian oil and natural gas exploration and production company bankruptcies totaled 42 in 2019, up from 28 in 2018, the law firm said.
“Following a steep drop in oil prices in the fourth quarter of 2018, there was a sharp increase in the number of filings in 2019,” the report said.
A total of 208 oil and gas production companies have filed for bankruptcy between 2015 and 2019, according to the report.
“This increase in year-over-year filings indicates that the reverberations of the 2015 oil price crash will continue to be felt in the industry through at least the first half of 2020,” Haynes and Boone said.
Midstream companies that provide storage and pipelines to producers fared better with only two bankruptcies in 2019 out of a total of 28 since the beginning of 2015.
Oilfield service companies were again hit hard with the number of bankruptcies nearly doubling from 12 in 2018 to 21 in 2019, the largest being the $7.4-billion filing by Weatherford International in July.
Reporting by Erwin Seba Editing by Bill Berkrot