[Editor's note: A version of this story appears in the September 2021 issue of Oil and Gas Investor magazine.]

When Oil and Gas Investor launched 40 years ago during the summer of 1981, it was the first industry publication to focus on the financial aspect of exploring for hydrocarbons versus the technical side. Ronald Reagan had just taken office as president and immediately deregulated crude oil prices, and prices spiked that year due to the Iran-Iraq War. But the free-market pricing launched a boom in production domestically, and investors wanted a piece of that action.

To celebrate those four decades of conversations we’ve had with myriad industry executives, we reached out to a number of them for their thoughts on the industry’s past, present and future. We asked them to answer one or more of four questions: 1) Where were you 40 years ago or what was your first job in the oil and gas industry if less than 40 years? 2) What was the most impactful event in the industry during your career or past 40 years? 3) What do you hope will happen in the oil and gas industry in the next 10 years? And, 4) If you could change the oil and gas industry in one way or invent something to improve it, what would it be? Their responses follow. May we learn from our past and proactively shape our future.

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