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Shale Patch Gets More Than $2.4 Billion in U.S. Virus Aid

By David Wethe

(Bloomberg) The shale industry is getting at least $2.4 billion in loans from the U.S. government’s Paycheck Protection Program aimed at helping businesses that are struggling with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The program will benefit more than 16,000 oil and natural gas explorers and service providers, according to data released Monday and compiled by Bloomberg. Mach Resources LLC, the gas producer run by Chesapeake Energy Corp. co-founder Tom Ward, is among companies listed as receiving loans of $2 million to $5 million.

Shale explorers, which were already struggling with high debt levels before Covid-19 hit, had to weather the double whammy of plunging demand for fuel amid lockdowns and the worst crude price crash in history.

The aid is part of a broad program that includes almost 4.9 million loans. Below are a few of the other energy companies that were also included.

Receiving $5 million-$10 million loans:

Aker Solutions
Cimarron Energy
EnerVest Operating
Enterprise Offshore Drilling
Forbes Energy Services
W&T Offshore

Representatives for the seven companies didn’t immediately reply to requests for comment.

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