Key Trends in the Oil and Gas Industry of 2019

Researchers at GlobalData’s Intelligence Centre have identified the top oil and gas industry trends of 2019. Using a host of data from online engagement and number of mentions, to qualitative expert analysis, the top ten trends are provided below.

The database also includes the top ten influencers that have used these keywords in their social media activity.

1) Oil Supply

The supply of oil from the world’s oil-rich exporters has a major impact on the global oil industry. US sanctions on top exporters such as Iran and Venezuela are a testament to this, and recent events have shown how a retraction in the oil supply can lead to inflated global oil prices.

2) Energy Outlook

An energy outlook refers to a publication or report on the future of energy, and can incorporate data projections regarding demand and supply and future energy policies, on a domestic or international scale. The International Energy Agency’s annual World Energy Outlook report is a good example, but many companies and governments regularly produce their own findings.

3) Energy Policy

An energy policy is a strategy outlined by a government, firm, or intergovernmental agency to balance resources and improve the overall energy landscape. The US Department of Energy, for example, will create a set of energy policies pertaining to the production and exploration of all energy sources affecting the US, while adhering to guidelines put forward by international energy bodies of which it is a member.

4) Natural Gas Supply

The natural gas supply refers to the production and exportation of hydrocarbon gas mixtures, predominantly composed of methane. More recently, firms and governments have been promoting the use of natural gas due to the perception that its production is more environmentally friendly than other fossil fuels such as coal and oil.

5) OPEC Output

OPEC output refers to the supply of oil specifically from countries within the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). There are currently 14 OPEC members including three of the top five oil exporting countries – Saudi Arabia, Iraq and the United Arab Emirates. Qatar’s membership to OPEC lapsed in 2019 and was not renewed.

6) Oil Price

The oil price is measured by the cost of a barrel of a certain type of oil. Offshore Technology quoted Reuters in saying that international Brent crude futures stood at $54.38 per barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate crude futures is $45.72 per barrel, as of 3 January 2019. At the beginning of October 2018, the price of Brent crude futures was as high as $85 per barrel, in part due to the US sanctions.

7) Fracking

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a method of exploring natural gas and petroleum trapped underneath deep-rock formations. The technique involves injecting fracking fluid – essentially water with some chemical additives – into rock formations at high pressure in order to crack the rock and allow the release of hydrocarbons. Fracking is popular in the US whereas in the UK, plans to restart fracking in October 2018 have come up against legal challenges, and caused small-scale seismic activity.

8) Oil Demand

Oil demand is a nation’s level of oil consumption and the opposite of oil supply. The top oil-consuming country in the world is the US, which consumed 19.88 billion barrels (Gbbl) in 2017, while China came in second with an oil demand of 13.23Gbbl. India (4.69Gbbl), Japan (3.99 Gbbl) and Saudi Arabia (3.92Gbbl) make up the top five.

9) Energy Transition

Energy transition is the long-term structural change of a nation’s energy mix. For example, the switch from oil and coal to natural gas is defined as an energy transition, as well as the incorporation of renewables to offset fossil fuel production. Many governments and firms have been laying out energy policies to foster an energy transition to more renewable and cleaner sources of energy in recent years.

10) Inventories

Inventories refer to the measure of change in the number of barrels of crude oil, which has an impact on the demand and supply of oil, and ultimately influences the price of petroleum products. The US Energy Information Administration’s  (EIA) crude oil inventories monitors the change in the number of crude oil barrels held by US firms on a weekly basis. Inventories can also apply to natural gas and coal.


The analysis provided by GlobalData on the top oil and gas industry trends of 2019 is based on the number of keyword mentions, online engagement by influencers, and expert analysis.

A more detailed daily analysis is available for GlobalData subscribers.