Slump in Oil Prices Brings Pressure, and Investment Opportunity

Courtesy of The New York Times. By MICHAEL CORKERY and PETER EAVIS

American history is littered with oil busts that created big winners and losers.

Now, as the cracks appear in the latest energy boom, the forces of failure and opportunity are stirring again. Resolute Energy, a Colorado company that borrowed big in the boom, is among those in an endgame that is being played up and down Wall Street and in the vast oil fields that new drilling methods have opened in recent years.

It is a struggle that could take place at scores of other companies, leading to thousands of layoffs, as well as losses for banks and investors. At the same time, new fortunes stand to be made.

When Resolute set out three years ago to buy thousands of acres in the oil patch of West Texas, lenders showered the company with hundreds of millions of dollars. But the company had little expertise in the costly and complicated horizontal drilling that it employed on its new property.

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