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More than 4 billion metric tonnes of oil is produced annually. But as big as the oil and gas industry is, there are still significant factors affecting its success in 2019.

Here are 5 of the biggest trends set to shape the future of the oil and gas industry this year.

Oil Supply

The oil industry relies on the supply of oil from the world’s oil-rich exporters. Fluctuations in this supply can affect oil prices. And oil prices affect the standing of companies in the oil and gas industries.

For example, fluctuations in supply from the Permian Basin have reshaped the oil industry worldwide. US sanctions on some of the world’s top oil exporters such as Iran and Venezuela have also hit the industry hard. These hits have proven that a retraction in the oil supply can inflate oil prices.

Energy Outlook Publications

Energy outlook publications hold a lot of sway in the oil and gas industry. Publications like the International Energy Agency’s annual World Energy Outlook report don’t only offer projections. They themselves can have an effect on the industry as a whole.

When staying on top of industry trends, one must stay up to date with energy outlook publications.

Changing Energy Policies

Energy policies are strategies outlined by a government, intergovernmental agency, or firm to help balance resources and boost the energy landscape. These policies have shaped the oil industry for decades and will continue to do so.

Some great examples of such policies are those put forward by the US Department of Energy. Their policies refer to the production of all energy sources that affect the US.

The Popularity of Fracking

Fracking is a way of exploring gas and petroleum trapped beneath deep-rock formations. When fracking, fluid injects into rock formations under high pressure to crack the rock. This then releases hydrocarbons.

Fracking is common-practice but has come up against hurdles recently. The UK and Australia, in particular, are experiencing social and legal pushback when proposing new fracking projects.

Energy Transition

Energy transition refers to the long-term structural shift of a nation’s energy mix. A great example of energy transition in effect is the switch from oil and coal to natural gas.

Today, we’re seeing another energy transition underway with the rise of renewable energy. Many governments are now laying out energy policies aimed at fostering this energy transition.

The shift to renewables is one of the biggest trends to affect the oil and gas industries. It’s led many major companies to expand their portfolio or even shift wholesale into the renewable market.

The Oil and Gas Industry Is in Flux

The oil and gas industry is one of the biggest in the world but that doesn’t mean there aren’t factors affecting major change. Oil supply, energy outlook publications, changing energy policies, the popularity of fracking, and energy transition are only a few of the trends bucking the status quo this year.

Interested in renewable energy? We asked the question: is solar power really the best way to generate clean energy?