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Oil Firms Raise $171 Billion in Debt as Virus Hits Fuel Demand

  • A further $120 billion must be repaid or refinanced this year
  • High default risk for U.S. companies as credit quality suffers

Oil and gas companies worldwide have raised $171 billion of debt from the loan and bond markets since March after the coronavirus pandemic hit demand for fuel.

The $171 billion tally is equivalent to the volume of bonds sold for the industry in the whole year of 2019. The debt pile is set to grow further with almost $120 billion of borrowings due by the end of the year that will need to be either repaid or refinanced. Of that amount, $43 billion is in bonds and $76 billion in loans.