After over a decade of the much-hyped U.S. fracking miracle, the U.S. oil and gas industry is having to deal with years of losses and falling asset values which has dealt the industry a serious financial blow. This is despite the fracking revolution delivering record oil and gas production for the past decade, peaking in 2019.
While the pandemic has hurt the industry, companies have also benefited from excessive bailouts from pandemic relief programs but these bailouts are a stop gap financial band-aid for the struggling industry.
The oil and gas industry has always required huge amounts of money to explore for and produce oil and gas but up until now the industry made returns on those investments
“If you’d said four years ago, ‘I’ve got a great investment idea for you — take half your money, burn it, take the other half of your money and put it under a mattress’… it would have been a terrible idea, a terrible investment strategy — except that it would have done better than the U.S. oil & gas industry has done over the last four years,” Clark Williams-Derry, analyst for the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), explained at an energy conference in late 2020.