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Sean Moran was quoted in an article in Upstream, the international oil and gas newspaper, titled "Redeterminations Set to Lower Borrowing Ability."

In regard to Moody's downgrading the liquidity ratings of 29 oil companies since February and whether this distress is beginning to loosen up asset markets, Moran noted, "We are starting to see money flow and deals happen," said Sean Moran, chair of the oil and gas practice at Pittsburgh-based law firm Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney. "I have been involved in more deals this year than all of last year already."

Moran's clients span both sides of the market including private equity clients looking for assets and over-leveraged operators but the grease that is oiling this movement in the previously frozen market is financial distress, he said.

"Whether these are first trickling of them, only time will tell," he said. "A lot will depend on the spring redeterminations." Regardless, operators are beginning to come to grips with the reality of the situation.

"A year ago they were taking a wait-and-see approach," Moran said of indebted operators. "Now we are starting to shake out."

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