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Oil Drillers ‘Going to Die’ in 2Q on Crude Price Swoon

A floor hand waits to line up pipe while drilling for oil in the Bakken shale formation on July 23, 2013 outside Watford City, North Dakota.

A floor hand waits to line up pipe while drilling for oil in the Bakken shale formation on July 23, 2013 outside Watford City, North Dakota.

Photographer: Andrew Burton/Getty Images
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Oil drillers will begin collapsing under the weight of lower crude prices during the second quarter and energy explorers who employ them will shortly follow, according to Conway Mackenzie Inc., the largest U.S. restructuring firm.

Companies that drill wells and manage fields on behalf of oil producers will be the first to fall after the benchmark American crude, West Texas Intermediate, lost 57 percent of its value in seven months, said John T. Young, whose firm led the city of Detroit through its 2013 bankruptcy.