(Reuters) - Bankruptcy filings in the oil and gas sector are widely expected to increase in the coming months following a slide of more than 50 percent in crude oil prices since June, to about $50 per barrel.
The price decline has put acute pressure on small companies with weak balance sheets and hurt sales for related services companies that sell everything from sand to drilling rigs to temporary housing.
Parts of the industry, especially the offshore drilling sector, were already under pressure when oil was still above $100 a barrel as many producers were shifting their focus to onshore work in the U.S. fracking boom.
Below is a rundown on some recent oil and gas bankruptcy filings in U.S. courts:
January 2015: WBH Energy, one of many tiny shale oil and gas producers in Texas, files for bankruptcy protection, becoming what may be the first U.S. company of its kind to do so since crude prices started tumbling six months ago. It listed both assets and liabilities of between $10 million and $50 million in its filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Texas on Sunday.
November 2014: KiOR Inc, a company based in Houston that works on turning biomass into renewable crude oil that is processed into gasoline, diesel and fuel oil blendstocks, files for bankruptcy, listing $86 million in assets.
October 2014: Endeavour International Corp an oil and gas exploration and production company focused on the North Sea and the United States, seeks creditor protection after saying it will stop making interest payments on its debts. It said in August its production would be small, at 9,500-10,500 barrels of oil equivalent per day, and it filed with $1.5 billion in assets.
October 2014: Marion Energy, a natural gas exploration and production company, files for bankruptcy.
May 2014: Houston’s Buccaneer Energy Limited, an upstream oil and gas company, files for bankruptcy protection with $152 million in assets.
March 2014: Houston-based Global Geophysical Services , which does seismic work for oil and gas exploration companies, files for bankruptcy.
February 2014: Lexico Resources International Corp, an oil and gas company based in Houston, files for bankruptcy with less than $150,000 in assets.
February 2014: Tuscany International Holdings seeks protection as liquidity constraints press the Canadian contract driller to cut its debt load and explore strategic alternatives. The driller said that revenue and rig utilization had fallen over on stiff competition in the oilfield services market, leading to cash shortages.
Sources: BankruptcyData.com, court filings