If there is one thing that gets a response from your industry peers, it’s anything to do with oil and gas production. It is a natural topic of discussion as who doesn’t like to talk about a good science experiment? Add a dash of cash to the process, and the intrigue grows incrementally as does the weight of fiscal responsibility to stakeholders. With just four months remaining in 2018, the final push is on to make the year-end numbers projected way back when in January.

It seems like a lifetime ago, but it has only been eight months. Moreover, what an impact those 32 weeks have had on the oil and gas industry. In that span of time, offshore projects like Shah Deniz 2, Icthys, Kaombo and Kaikias all saw first production while Martin Linge, Johan Sverdrup and Appomattox roll closer to the finish line.

The plans for many of the proposed offshore projects placed on the shelf during the industry downturn are now seeing life. According to a Rystad Energy press release, out of the 17 deepwater projects approved over the past 18 months, as many as 16 had previously been in the development queue but were then put on hold during the industry downcycle.

“These same projects can now pass operators’ investment criteria down to $30 per barrel,” the press release stated. “The 16 delayed deepwater projects that have attained FID [final investment decision] so far will collectively develop around 6 billion boe and require investments totaling $43.2 billion to reach first production.”

It is the onshore side of the production coin that is the focus of this month’s cover story. In it, the leading producers in many of the U.S. shale plays share insights into the current state of production technologies and how they are using those technologies to increase hydrocarbon production from their fields.

September brings with it the Society of Petroleum Engineers’ Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition (SPE ATCE). The conference, to be held in Dallas this year, will feature “Translating Big Data into Business Results” for its opening general session. Panelists from Encana, Shell, Schlumberger and Google will attempt to answer the real question regarding the use of Big Data: how can it be used to improve safety and increase profitability?

In recognition of the event, E&P highlights new products from more than 40 companies that are exhibiting at the show in our annual SPE ATCE Technology Showcase.

As the industry sets its sights on 2019, let’s keep pushing during these last four months to ensure 2018 exits with less whimper and more bang!

Jennifer Presley’s As I See It column originally appeared in the September 2018 issue of E&P.