COVID-19 spread throughout the world at an alarmingly fast rate during the first half of 2020, shocking the global economy. The damage was clear as the global economy went from expansion to contraction within a few months. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts a decline of -4.9% for global GDP in 2020—by far the worst global economic performance in the post-World War II era.
The oil and gas industry, like many, was powerfully affected by this contraction. Demand for petroleum products collapsed at a time when global output was ramping up, fueled by rising shale oil output in the U.S. As a result, global oil prices collapsed for the third time in the last 13 years. This decline is compounding the impact of the pandemic in cities where the oil and gas industry is an important, or even dominant contributor to the local economy.