Oil price movement through 2014 and into 2015 is a consequence of market fundamentals. Europe’s continued economic woes, paired with the slowdown in China’s economy, have led to a fall in demand for oil.

At the same time, the growing U.S. shale-oil boom (over which OPEC has no control) and the pick-up in drilling in Libya have led to an excess of supply. However, in the past few months the issue has switched from how quickly oil prices have fallen, to how much further they have to fall.

Some producers facing lower cash flows with no reduction in debt expenses and operating costs are likely to succumb and seek bankruptcy protection. Others may be better able to restructure their debt outside a formal insolvency process. Although any number of questions may arise in a given bankruptcy case, we have identified 12 priority issues that companies in the oil and gas sector are likely to face in the coming year. These ‘top 12’ focus on U.S. bankruptcies, but the same issues are equally relevant to proceedings in other jurisdictions around the world, even if the terminology may differ.

Please read our recently published Client Alert for more details and the priority issues.