The oil industry has taken a huge hit from plunging oil prices, according to the latest Fed Beige Book.
The impacts are nation-wide, though largely centered in the Midwest:
Oil and natural gas drilling declined in the Cleveland, Minneapolis, Kansas City, and Dallas Districts. In contrast, the Richmond District reported that natural gas production was unchanged. The number of drilling rigs for oil and natural gas declined sharply in the Cleveland, Minneapolis, and Kansas City Districts. Oil and gas producers in the Cleveland, Kansas City, and Dallas Districts anticipate cuts in capital expenditures during 2015. Coal production was unchanged in both the Cleveland and Richmond Districts, while it increased modestly in the St. Louis District. Both the Cleveland and Richmond Districts reported lower coal prices.
The employment situation in the industry is not good: “Contacts in the gas and oil production and related industries in the Cleveland, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Kansas City, and Dallas Districts reported downsizing or layoffs.”