Illinois Oil Production Bounces Back to Normal Levels After Rough Spring

NOTE: This blog was updated on Aug. 7, 2020, with revised June production data.

Illinois crude oil production in the first half of 2020 was 8.3 percent below levels seen in the first half of 2019, totaling 3,663,050 barrels. However, Illinois oil output returned to more typical pre-COVID-19 pandemic production levels in June.

COVID-19 restrictions drove down oil demand and prices at an unprecedented pace throughout the world in the spring. So not surprisingly, Illinois oil production was down 27 percent in the second quarter compared to first-quarter production totals, and overall United States oil production experienced a similar decline, falling by 22 percent (2.8 million barrels per day).

But Illinois production in June increased 93 percent from May’s production level of just 11,987 barrels per day (bpd), settling at a more typical 23,025 bpd.

Though oil prices and production are trending in the right direction, there is no getting around the fact that it was a tough second quarter.

April production was down 30 percent from typical Illinois production of 23,000 bpd, as Illinois Basin oil prices averaged just $12.68 in the wake of the global demand crash brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prices improved considerably in May and were up 147 percent from their April lows in June. But although prices have remained steady throughout July, they are still well below levels seen early in 2020.

Despite the oil price crash, White County is still on pace to surpass two million barrels of annual production for the second consecutive year, pumping 1,076,144 in the first half of 2020. That total represents 29 percent of the state’s total production so far this year.

Many experts are cautiously projecting a steady rebound in oil demand throughout the rest of 2020, providing hope that the worst of the COVID-19 price collapse has passed.

Click here to view IPRB’s full production report for the first half of 2020, including county-level totals. Production data is compiled by IPRB from monthly reports submitted by Illinois Basin first purchasers.