If Oil Prices Continue to Drop, Companies Could Soon See Bankruptcy

“We’re not making money drilling.”

By Rhonda FanningFebruary 4, 2016 12:11 pm, ,

Houston-based Occidental Petroleum, one of the largest oil producers in Texas, announced Thursday that they had a fourth quarter net loss of more than $5 billion, the largest loss in 25 years.

The company says they’ve been desperately trying to focus on its most profitable ventures – oil production in Texas’ Permian Basin.

BP announced Tuesday their biggest annual loss ever and they expect to cut 7,000 jobs by the end of 2017. Exxon Mobil also recently said they had a 58 percent drop in quarterly profits.

Announcements like these seem to be piling up. Steve Pruett, CEO of Elevation Resources in Midland, says it’s not surprising news, even for private holding companies like his.

“It’s a testimony that our reserves aren’t worth any near where they were worth a year ago when prices were higher,” he says.

With prices at $30 per barrel, Pruett says his company is getting anywhere from $3 to $5 profit on that sale.

“(Oil companies are) not making money drilling wells. We are making money producing, but we’re not making money drilling,” he says. “If we stay in this current price environment through the fall we will have many bankruptcies.”

Listen to the full interview in the audio player above.