A drill of Whiting Petroleum. Photo: AFP / Stringer/Getty Images

The oil-and-gas producer Whiting Petroleum said Wednesday that it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, citing the "severe downturn" in prices stemming from the Saudi-Russia price war and the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: The Wall Street Journal notes that Whiting, a substantial producer in North Dakota's prolific shale regions, is the "first sizable fracking company to succumb to the crash in oil prices."

Whiting produced roughly 125,000 barrels of oil-equivalent per day in 2019. It has assets in North Dakota, Montana and Colorado.

Where it stands: Whiting, among the companies already under financial strain before the price collapse, announced a proposed restructuring that includes giving certain creditors a 97% stake in the company in exchange for relief on $2.2 billion in debt.

What's next: A number of oil-and-gas companies are under strain as oil prices have collapsed to their lowest levels in roughly two decades.

  • There's an unprecedented drop in global demand as COVID-19 freezes huge amounts of travel and economic activity.
  • "As many as 40% of U.S. oil and gas companies could crater into bankruptcy or distress over the next two years as they grapple with a market crash and the coronavirus outbreak, according to asset manager Pickering Energy Partners LP," per Bloomberg.

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The Emmy Awards Sunday night addressed the major U.S. issues this year — including the protests on systemic racism and police brutality, the wildfires engulfing parts of the West Coast, the census, the pandemic, essential works and the election.

Why it matters: Award shows have always addressed wider cultural issues, but this year — amid unprecedented stress and uncertainty — that trend has accelerated.

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Arrest over letter to Trump containing poison ricin

President Trump returning to the White House from Minnesota on Sept. 18. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

A suspect was arrested for allegedly "sending a suspicious letter" after law enforcement agents intercepted an envelope addressed to President Trump containing the poison ricin, the FBI confirmed in an emailed statement to Axios Sunday.

Details: The suspect, a woman, was arrested while trying to enter New York from Canada, law enforcement forces said.