Activity in the oil and gas sector declined significantly in first 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—plunged from -4.2 in the fourth quarter to -50.9 in the first, the lowest reading in the survey’s four-year history and indicative of significant contraction. Exploration and production (E&P) and oilfield services firms both saw large decreases.
The oil production index plunged 51 points to -26.4, according to E&P executives. It posted its first negative reading since third quarter 2016. The natural gas production index also turned negative, from 15.6 to -21.2. Both indexes suggest that oil and gas production fell relative to the previous quarter.