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Opinion: Honor the Past, Respect the Legacy, Create the Future

·4 min read

Presented by:

Oil and Gas Investor
Oil and Gas Investor

The privilege of writing this column is one I share with only two people. Both are gone too soon and both of whom pushed Oil and Gas Investor magazine across boundaries, beyond challenges and into the future with their own brands of brilliance, experience and swagger.

Leslie Haines, the formidable founding editor of Oil and Gas Investor, shepherded the publication for more than 30 years and illuminated the impacts of war, global economics and technology on the industry. She was there for the advent of hydraulic fracturing. Her successor, the red-headed firecracker Steve Toon, took the helm of the magazine in 2016 and steered the magazine through the shale revolution’s early rumblings of shareholder unrest, industry accountability demands and, of course, an upending pandemic.

Still, among the 50 years of Hart Energy’s energy news coverage, the past 12 months will stand out. And this is where I come in.

Hart Energy July 2022 - Oil and Gas Investor Ring the Bell - Leslie Haines 2015 conference image
Leslie Haines speaking at Hart Energy’s annual A&D Strategies and Opportunities Conference at the Ritz Carlton in Dallas in September 2015. (Source: Hart Energy)

The industry is at a crossroads. Not for the first time, but the paths from this point are so many and so divergent that once the industry emerges, it may be unrecognizable to anyone who’s not paying attention.

We’re watching very closely. At Oil and Gas Investor and indeed, across all of Hart Energy’s platforms, we intend to give our readers a ringside seat.

You see, Leslie and Steve left behind far more than a publication steeped in legacy, a reputation to uphold and shoes so large that I cannot fill them on my own. They bequeathed onto the role as editor-in-chief a special gift: a group of the best energy journalists in the business.

And we’ve got a lot of work to do.

No one will reasonably argue that an evolution is taking place; perhaps it’s one that is a long time in coming. The industrialization and geopolitical mechanizations that framed much of Leslie’s tenure remain in place, and the high-stakes accountability gains that Steve presided over grow in their complexity.

The industry we cover is evolving, and our team must do so, too. It is a process of progression, and there is no end in sight to the improvements ahead. Without progress, there is only stagnation and regression. Neither is an option.

We are developing our online presence at HartEnergy.com to work in concert with Oil and Gas Investor’s print editions to broaden, speed and deepen our offerings of news, insight and analysis to you.

Hart Energy July 2022 - Oil and Gas Investor Ring the Bell - Steve Toon 2018 conference image
Steve Toon speaking at Hart Energy’s DUG Executive conference at the Hilton Americas in downtown Houston in February 2018. (Source: Hart Energy)

We are introducing a new column in the July edition of the magazine called Market Watchers. During years of covering all facets of the energy that fuels our world, our journalists have established important relationships with key thinkers and experts in the field. It is an honor to have won their agreement so that each month we can offer you their candid and unvarnished insights in this column.

Working in tandem with our digital team, we will bring Market Watchers to you online. Many of our most trusted sources will speak to you directly on HartEnergy.com about the most important news of the day.

Oil and Gas Investor is connecting the dots between domestic and international energy interests to reflect the prowess that has long existed online. To that end, we are adding a section of the magazine to the impacts of energy that will mirror the treatment we have long devoted to finance and technology.

Perhaps most importantly, we are putting people at the front and center of our reporting, from the cover of the magazine to its closing commentary. We are featuring real experts who will give their unique perspectives and inside analysis online with our digital presence.

Moreover, we embrace the diversity needed to succeed in the energy field and within the world itself. The industry is relevant because people rely on it to survive. Likewise, our relevance depends on our ability to bring the industry to the people of the world. I hope our grasp of this truth is obvious throughout Oil and Gas Investor’s pages and across HartEnergy.com.

It’s not for nothing that we have reported on the industry’s struggle to contain talent and recruit the next generation. We understand clearly that we must also work harder and better to retain our loyal audience and attract new generations of readers.

We are not afraid of a crew change; we are excited to welcome everyone aboard.