Even ignoring the anthropogenic climate change issues,* fracked oil and gas is expensive, and the drop-off on wells is 10 to 20 times that of conventional wells.
Simply put, it's been a game of musical chairs, with investors and executives fobbing debt off on idiots, and they have run out of idiots
Basically, this was looting disguised as the energy industry, as evidenced by spending that would make Dennis Koslowski† blush.
The biggest player in the field, Chesapeake Energy, has filed for bankruptcy, and the looting is on full display:
The fracking giant’s bankruptcy filing comes following a financial mess at the company that included no budgets, a massive wine collection and a nine-figure bill for parking garages, sources told CNBC’s David Faber.Another big player in fracking, Lilis Energy has filed for bankruptcy as well.
CEO Robert D. “Doug” Lawler found in examining the company’s books a $110 million bill for two parking garages, Faber reported Monday. Other revelations include a wine collection in a cave hidden behind a broom closet in the Chesapeake office. Extravagances further included a season ticket package to the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder that was the biggest in the league and a lavish campus that was modeled after Duke University, complete with bee keepers, botox treatments and chaplains for employees.
Don't worry about the senior executives who drove the companies into the ground though, they get their multi-million dollar retention bonuses anyway.
We really need to fix our corporate bankruptcy laws.
*Apart from that Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?
†Dennis Kozlowski, the former head of Tyco international, who had the company buy him things like art and $6,000 shower curtains.