Industry reacts to historic drop in oil prices 

Chart courtesy of LOGA

Crude oil is trading below $21 per barrel this week, marking a historic low in the past two decades. 

As travel restrictions heighten and Saudi Arabia and Russia have continued to clash and flood the market, Louisiana’s oil and gas industry had already been keeping a close eye on the market as prices tanked more than 30% last week. 

The West Texas Intermediate index fell to $20.80 per barrel yesterday at its lowest point. 

“The oil and gas industry is facing a perfect storm,” says Gifford Briggs, president of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association. “While the COVID-19 pandemic has paralyzed the country and rapidly reduced the demand for energy, Russia and OPEC are ramping up production. This combination of unprecedented events has led many experts to predict that oil prices will remain below $35 a barrel for the foreseeable future. These are serious times.”

West Texas Intermediate futures—the main U.S. crude gauge—dropped 24% to $20.37 a barrel yesterday, hitting their lowest level since February 2002. Brent crude, the global benchmark, fell 13% to $24.88 a barrel, its lowest level since May 2003.

“Our hearts and prayers are with all of the communities and businesses who are struggling to survive in the midst of this public health and economic crisis. The Louisiana Oil & Gas Association is working with local, state and federal leaders to do everything possible to support and protect the families and hardworking men and women in the oil and gas industry.” 

The state’s economist has been wary of how much the price drop will affect the budget, but others suggest this paints a bloody picture for the industry. 

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