The oil and gas industry’s earnings season is barely under way, and already there’s been $6.5 billion in writedowns.
On Thursday, Freeport-McMoRan Inc. reported a $3.7 billion charge for the third quarter, while Southwestern Energy Co. -- which has a market value of $4.5 billion -- recorded $2.8 billion. And that’s just the beginning. Barclays Plc estimated in an Oct. 21 analysis that there could be $20 billion in charges among just six companies. Southwestern’s writedown was double Barclays’ forecast.