During the final weeks of April, oil prices plunged to the lowest they’ve ever been in U.S. history in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Just last week, crude oil trading was below zero for the first time in history. Experts say the COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to halting the demand for oil, resulting in a decline in oil prices and production.
Gifford Briggs, with the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association, spoke to KLFY in Lafayette and said, “We saw a 300% decrease in the price of oil at one day where oil went below all historic prices, crossed the 0 threshold, and ended down at $37 negative. At one-point trading as low as 55.”
“People could not take physical delivery of the crude, and so when they couldn’t take the physical delivery of the crude, the price kept going lower and lower and lower, until we saw it cross the 0 line to -$37,” Briggs told the local reporter.
Louisiana’s Oil and Gas Association says the price of natural gas has also decreased.
“Natural gas is feeling the same pressure since November to today,” explained Briggs. “We’ve seen roughly 40-50% decrease in the price of natural gas well over a $1 in value. And that is far below what is needed for our gas producers here in Louisiana to be able to be successful.”
The Louisiana Oil and Gas Association also says the future of the industry depends on the economy’s demand for oil.