Activity in the oil and gas sector jumped in fourth quarter 2020, according to oil and gas executives responding to the Dallas Fed Energy Survey. The business activity index—the survey’s broadest measure of conditions facing Eleventh District energy firms—moved into positive territory, rising from -6.6 in the third quarter to 18.5 in the fourth quarter. This is the first positive reading for the business activity index since first quarter 2019, with the increase driven by both E&P and oilfield services firms.
According to E&P executives, oil production stabilized after three quarters of decline, with the index rising from -15.4 to 1.0 in the fourth quarter. The natural gas production index increased eight points to -2.1. The near-zero readings for both indexes indicate oil and gas production was fairly flat in the fourth quarter.