Overall, the oil and gas market improved and grew in 2018 with some price volatility in Q4. The price fluctuation is expected to continue in 2019 due to uncertainty with OPEC’s latest mandate to cut production and a slowing global demand for crude products. According to the Energy Information Agency, the U.S. is now the largest crude oil producer in the world. In February, crude production exceeded that of Saudi Arabia for the first time in more than two decades. In June and August, the U.S. surpassed Russia for the first time since 1999. This past August, the U.S. produced over 11 million barrels per day and we’re expected to exceed Russia and Saudi Arabia through 2019. Shale plays around the country are driving crude oil production. Much of the growth is from the Permian Basin in Texas and New Mexico and the Bakken in North Dakota and Montana. There has been an increase in drilling activity in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, after declining significantly from the oil price drop in 2014-2015. Despite oil price fluctuations and geopolitical concerns, the U.S. oil and gas industry is thriving. Innovative technology and cutting edge software designed to help improve personnel, production and product performance is a key factor for future growth. At OILMAN we’re also eager to see what’s new in blockchain technology, machine learning and artificial intelligence as they continue to open up new frontiers in the industry. The resilience, ingenuity and drive of all involved in the oil and gas value chain is remarkable and we look forward to sharing in every OILMAN issue what the industry has to offer in 2019.