Corporate debt markets have been an attractive source of funding for U.S. E&P companies in the current era of easy money. Interest rates are at or near record lows for high-grade and high-yield companies alike, resulting in a number of E&P companies tapping these markets in recent months. However, the current environment of easy money could be coming to a close. Despite this, the outlook for drilling remains generally positive, and particularly so for companies in unconventional resource plays such as the Bakken and Eagle Ford, according to the latest issue of The Land Rig Newsletter’s Unconventional Drilling Report.
Companies have upsized debt offerings in recent weeks. Recent examples include Concho, which increased its offering from $400 million to $600 million, and Brigham Exploration, which increased its debt offering from $250 million to $300 million. Debt financing is allowing companies to add rigs. One example is Brigham. The company recently announced plans to add a tenth rig to its Williston program by July and plans to add another 2 rigs to the program in early 2012.