U.S. crude oil production averaged 11.3 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2020, down 935,000 b/d (8%) from the record annual average high of 12.2 million b/d in 2019. The 2020 decrease in production was the largest annual decline in the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s records. The production decline resulted from reduced drilling activity related to low oil prices in 2020.
In January 2020, U.S. crude oil production reached a peak of 12.8 million b/d. In March 2020, crude oil prices decreased because of the sudden drop in petroleum demand that resulted from the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The declining prices led crude oil operators to shut in wells and limit the number of wells brought online, lowering the output for the major oil-producing regions. In May, U.S. crude oil production reached its lowest average monthly volume for the year at 10.0 million b/d.