Mar 13, 2020 - Energy & Environment

U.S. crude oil production to dip for the first time since 2016

Data: EIA; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios
Data: EIA; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

This week the Energy Information Administration issued a forecast that shows U.S. crude oil production dropping next year on an annual basis for the first time since 2016 to average 12.7 million barrels per day in 2021.

Why it matters: It comes alongside a wave of announcements that U.S. producers are scaling back operations and cutting spending thanks to the collapse in oil prices. Together, the findings help show how the price declines and coronavirus-induced demand loss are affecting the industry.

Where it stands: Goldman Sachs analysts looked at 10 announcements from shale producers that are revising their earlier capital spending plans for 2020 downward. They find that their average announced capital spending cuts will be 30%, totaling over $5 billion in reductions compared to prior plans.

Threat level: "Emergency cash-conservation measures taken by Occidental Petroleum and other energy companies may not be enough to stave off credit-rating downgrades, S&P Global has warned, saying it is prepared to take rapid action as it takes stock of the damage of coronavirus and the oil-price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia," the Financial Times (subscription) reports.

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