Oil price down, defaults up part 1 - risks and solutions for dealing with joint venture defaults

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Summary: In a series of articles to be published over the next three weeks, we identify key risks to be managed in default scenarios, looking at the risks and options from the perspective of each of the principal stakeholders and exploring the subtleties and complexities that make defaults so high risk.

With oil prices now some 70% off their 2014 highs, the last 12-15 months have been incredibly challenging. Producers’ revenues have been hit hard while the appetite for investment in exploration and development financing has significantly reduced.

We are beginning to see some distressed M&A and an apparent reduction in the value gap between buyers and sellers, but a resumption of “normal service” remains a way off and debt finance remains hard to come by.

As a result, we are seeing increasing numbers of upstream joint venture defaults and disputes relating to them. In the last six months alone we have advised on a series of default scenarios across the North Sea, West Africa, the Mediterranean and the MENA region.

Read the first instalment in the series.

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