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James D. Newell, Financial Institutions practice chair and Sean W. Moran, Oil and Gas practice group chair spoke with S&P Global Market Intelligence for a story entitled "Law firms brace for coronavirus-driven wave of energy, mining restructurings."

Some energy sector companies went into the coronavirus situation with preexisting conditions, said Jim Newell, chair of financial institutions practice at Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC. Disruption in the retail sector and the broader economy will exacerbate those existing issues.

"Some of this is triage for the bankruptcy professionals and the lending world," Newell said. "Which of these companies can we save and preserve jobs?"

In 2008 during the nation's last financial crisis, the oil and gas sector was on the cusp of a shale boom, and coal was still the dominant fuel for power generation. Whiting Petroleum Corp. recently became the first major shale oil and gas producer to file for bankruptcy.

"The whole industry is in a completely different position today," said Sean Moran, chair of Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney's oil and gas practice group.