Birds do it. Bees do it. Flowers do it. Even car manufacturers do it. How else would the world get the recently discovered Burket’s warbler, the Africanized honeybee, the Stargazer Lily or the Toyota Prius? Hybridization, the process of combining a variety of elements to create a new element, is nature’s way of responding to the “what if” question.

For the E&P editorial team, that question came disguised not as a “what if” but as a “how can we deliver compelling content and insights on the year ahead to our readers faster?” Naturally, our discussion turned to the December issue, then to the annual Unconventional Yearbook, and voila!

You, dear reader, hold in your hands the answer. In this first-of-its-kind hybrid issue, we have combined the compelling content for which Hart Energy’s playbooks are known with the insightful commentary by the E&P editorial team to create the 2019 Unconventional Yearbook issue.

In the December E&P issue, you will find in-depth coverage featuring the top five unconventional U.S. regions: the Permian Basin, Eagle Ford, Bakken/Niobrara, Midcontinent and Marcellus/Utica.

Reuters reported that U.S. crude oil output from seven major shale basins was expected to hit a record of 7.94 MMbbl/d in December, according to a monthly government forecast released on Nov. 13.

The total oil output from the basins was expected to rise 113,000 bbl/d, driven largely by increases in the Permian Basin of Texas and New Mexico, where output was forecast to climb by 63,000 bbl/d to about 3.7 MMbbl/ d in December, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said.

U.S. natural gas production, meanwhile, was projected to increase to a record 75.1 Bcf/d in December. That would be up more than 1 Bcf/d over the November forecast and would be the 11th monthly increase in a row. Output was just 63.9 Bcf/d a year ago in December 2017.

Production from these plays has pushed the U.S. to the top as the leader in global oil production.

Expert editors and contributors provide the most important facts and figures on the economics as well as technology trends, logistics, environmental concerns and key player activity in this comprehensive and unique issue of E&P.

In addition, this hybrid approach will continue into the new year with four issues planned to take a similar approach.

In March an expanded Water Management Techbook will land in your mailbox. In addition to best practices and technology trends for the unconventional market space, we’ll dive into the offshore sector and how operators are handling produced water challenges and more. The May issue will feature the Offshore Technology Yearbook, delivering comprehensive coverage of the global offshore market, including exploration, drilling and production trends.

The Permian Basin Playbook will publish in the October issue with a thorough review and analysis of topics concerning operators, service companies and more in the region. The December 2019 issue will deliver a 20/20 focus on the decade ahead for shale players in the 2020 Unconventional Yearbook.

Our analysis didn’t end once the decision was made to go with four hybrid issues in the new year. We also looked at other areas within the magazine that could use a fresh approach.

Take, for example, our cover stories. In addition to our traditional lineup of exploration, drilling, completions and production technologies, we’ve added frack sand and logistics, deepwater advances and downhole tools. Each are topics with the potential to grow exponentially in the year ahead.

Read the December E&P issue here.

Read each of the December E&P "2019 Unconventional Yearbook" articles:

Overview: 2019 Outlook Shaped by Evolving Themes

Key Players: Maintaining the Stride, Staying Ahead 

Drilling Becomes Standardized While Completions Get Customized 

Transformation Continues for Delaware Basin Operator 

Sand, Water Logistics Shift into High Gear 

Oil, Gas Industry Discovers Innovative Solutions To Environmental Concerns 

Production Forecast: 2018 Is A Year For The Record Books