The crash in U.S. oil production is growing worse as freezing temperatures and power outages in Texas prevent pumping the fossil fuels from the ground.
Bloomberg reported that oil production has plunged by close to 40% — the most ever, according to traders and industry executives with direct knowledge of the operations.
Crude oil production has now fallen by more than 4 million barrels a day nationwide. Before the cold snap, the U.S. was pumping about 11 million barrels a day.
The Permian basin, America’s biggest oil field that straddles western Texas and New Mexico is the region worst affected, with output down between 65% and 80% from normal levels.
Amrita Sen, chief oil analyst at consultant Energy Aspects Ltd., said in a note to clients that production losses were “much higher than initial estimates” and warned that Permian output may not return to pre-freeze levels until Feb. 22, according to Bloomberg.