2018 is drawing to a close and companies everywhere are excited for a new year full of opportunities and potential. They are completing year-end analyses, revising their budgets, and preparing to make the most of whatever lies ahead. With these things in mind, oil & gas experts have officially released their 2019 industry predictions. Let’s take a look at what could be next for the oil & gas industry.

We will set production records.

Improvements in drilling technology combined with low prices and high pressure from investors will drive companies to continue drilling at exceptional rates. The Bakken operation in North Dakota broke records in 2018, and a recent United States Geological Survey predicts that U.S. reserves are nearly double our previous estimates.

We will resolve the Permian basin bottleneck.

Currently, more than half of U.S. drilling occurs in Texas. The release of the USGS report only confirms that this will continue to be the case in the new year. As the aforementioned investor pressure mounts and the implementation of new technology persists, it is estimated that our ability to move a vast amount of natural resources at a time needs to improve as soon as possible.

Several pipeline and transportation projects are slated to be completed in 2020, but experts predict that we will begin to see bottleneck relief in the third quarter of 2019.   

We will expand our export capacity.

A number of new export facilities are expected to go live in 2019 which will significantly increase our ability to move product internationally. The high demand for the U.S. export of LNG and crude oil will continue, as will the ability for Texas and Louisiana ports to meet such demands. A new comfortability in the number of barrels exported will arise as we work to “prove” the existence of reserve levels in the Permian Basin discovery.

We will decrease the number of rigs.

2019 should see more efficient extraction methods coupled with an anticipated slowdown in activity thanks to potentially low pricing. New technology will enable upstream companies to get the most out of each well, so the U.S. will be able to increase production levels while decreasing the number of active rigs.

We will increase the number of employees.

The oil & gas industry will continue its efforts to prevent a workforce shortage and improve workplace diversity with strong recruitment tactics. They will focus on attracting younger generations and women to the industry in response to the new dynamic brought about by the change in U.S. standings.