This past year was one of recovery, as the downturn that began with the price crash in 2014 appeared to be over, although that view is not unanimous. Capital expenditures rose last year because of higher oil prices but spending was cautious, and that caution was validated when both Brent and WTI prices fell about $30/bbl during the fourth quarter. A price rally in January began to ease concerns that the industry was in another free fall. Oil and gas spending growth rose 4% in 2017 and 5% in 2018, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), after dropping 60% during 2014–16. The US shale sector contributed largely to that growth, as spending on unconventionals outstripped interest in conventional oil and offshore. Majors increased their visibility in unconventionals in plays such as the Permian Basin. Shale remains a bright spot, and will allow the US to likely remain the world’s largest producer of liquids and gas. Global oil inventories have come down significantly since the downturn, even with the increase in US production. But major uncertainties exist, making this year “even more hazardous than usual” to forecast trends in 2019, an IEA spokesman was quoted as saying. That uncertainty is reflected in a recent survey of more than 30 oil analysts, who predicted that Brent prices would end the year anywhere from$30/bbl to \$78/bbl.