When the chronological odometer clicks over to a zero year, it’s always a good opportunity to pontificate on what the future might hold, and we’re all certainly looking for enlightenment these days. The energy industry is experiencing great volatility as we enter the third decade of the millennium; in fact, what might be revealed as a paradigm shift by the end of the ’20s.

This time last decade we were just beginning to get our heads around the vast resource potential of the gassy shale plays, and tight oil producibility was still in question. We anticipated the technology would be exported globally. Excepting in Argentina, it hasn’t worked out, and maybe that’s a good thing considering the world supply glut we’ve created.

The U.S. oil and gas industry has experienced an amazingly successful decade, in hindsight. Too successful, it could be argued. What was once a battle cry of “drill, baby, drill” has morphed into catcalls by investors of “show me the money.” Just as with the advent of unconventional exploration in the early 2000s, the industry is poised for a transformation going into this decade.

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