Production of crude oil and natural gas decreased in the U.S. in April 2020 by 670,000 barrels per day (b/d) and 2.6 billion cubic feet per day, respectively, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Production declines of that magnitude usually arise only in natural disasters such as hurricanes: the drop in U.S. crude oil production in April was the largest since September 2008 when Hurricanes Gustav and Ike caused production to fall by 1.03 million b/d. The April 2020 decline in natural gas production was the largest monthly decrease since Hurricane Isaac-related shut-ins in August 2012.
April was the first full month to be affected by the low crude oil and natural gas prices related to the sudden drop in petroleum demand associated with COVID-19 mitigation efforts. The declining market led oil and natural gas operators to shut-in wells and limit the number of wells brought online, lowering the output for the major oil- and natural gas-producing regions.