[Editor's note: A version of this story appears in the December 2018 edition of Oil and Gas Investor. Subscribe to the magazine here.]

Way to hang in there, 2018. E&Ps saw a rebound in deals and rig activity, with most operators keeping itchy trigger fingers off their capex guns, at least for now.

Producers have mostly gotten religion on financial discipline, even as oil prices have rebounded 35% in the first three quarters—to an average $66.89 compared with 2017’s $49.39.

But just when you want to scream, “Who are these people? E&Ps kept the voltage cranked up in 2018—unleashing 13 monster deals worth $46 billion.

Experts, analysts and industry watchers see risks and opportunities in the shale world, with fiscal discipline again the watchwords of oil and gas producers.

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