Crude production falls with demand as rigs go offline
March's rift between Russia and Saudi Arabia over oil production limits started crude oil's precipitous decline of more than 50%, which was fueled further by falling demand driven by shelter-in-place policies designed to curb the spread of the coronavirus. U.S. crude producers' April 10 production reading was 12.3 million barrels a day, down 5.4% from its final March number. Year-over-year production was flat after reaching a historical peak of 13.1 million barrels a day in February.
U.S. crude oil producers appeared to have adjusted to sub-$80 oil after 2014-2015's collapse in prices. That period saw relatively modest declines as production was tapered over a 17-month period, until crude prices showed stability around $50 a barrel.
The number of rigs employed by producers fell by 20% to 504 from 624 according to the Baker Hughes Crude Oil Rotary Rig Count index. The 20% decline was on par with the percentage of rigs taken offline in early 2015.