Tracking regulatory changes in the oil and gas industry is no minor undertaking. After all, when someone speaks of “the oil and gas industry,” that person isn’t simply referencing some narrowly defined zone of activity; instead, the term points to a wide and multi-faceted collection of distinct operations that make up the total process of delivering natural resources from ground to market. These activities—all of which are covered by distinct and ever-evolving regulatory frameworks of their own—include manufacturing, geological services and oil-field services, to name just a few. Consequently, at any given time, the collection of different laws and regulations that could potentially affect this broad industry is quite expansive. It is thus impracticable to cover all potentially important regulatory changes on the horizon in this column. Below, however, are a few specific laws and/or enforcement-related activities that oil and gas companies should be aware of in 2015.
In The Headlines
Deborah Byers | Ernst & Young LLP
What does 2015 have in store for the energy industry? Making predictions is always a difficult proposition, and trying to predict the price of crude is a daunting task. As they say, if you are going to forecast, forecast often.
But looking back on events and activities this past year gives us some comfort to forecast the trends and “big picture” happenings that we’ll likely see in 2015. So, here are my thoughts on the top five energy industry developments to be aware of next year – regardless of whether the price of crude oil goes up or down:
Topic of Discussion
Richard Slack | Oildex
The Current State of Industry Debt
During the decade-long energy boom, U.S. E&P companies worked hard to boost their output substantially which in turn, also increased their debt loads. As the price of oil falls, many E&P companies are finding it difficult to profit on lesser performing wells and maintain their debt obligations. This has left most E&P companies attempting to line up billions of dollars in emergency financing ahead of potential rounds of cuts to their revolving loans.