The oil market at the end of 2018 was precarious at best. Investors were left wary and looking for good news in 2019 and so far, the market this year has been promising. Research Analyst of Banyan Hill Research, Matt Badiali, says, “At sub-$50 per barrel, drillers are going to curb new investment,” and with the cost of producing and transporting oil in the Permian Basin, the price per barrel is “WTI minus $6 or $7 per barrel–so $47 per barrel WTI is actually $40 minimum to them. That isn’t economic,” he says, “That supports the case that we should see the oil market stabilize in 2019 at a higher price.”

Experts are optimistic that while prices are low now, the market is in contango and prices will continue to rise as the year goes on, especially as the U.S. continues to produce enough oil to become a prime contender for the top oil producer in the world.

Not only is the U.S. set to become the number one oil producer in the coming years, but according to Kevin Book, an energy consultant, the U.S. is about to become a lead exporter as well. “America’s move to net exports was supposed to be five or six years off,” he says, “Now it’s next year. That’s big news.”

With oil production rising and the U.S. ahead of schedule as a global exporter, it should shape up to be a profitable year for oil investors in 2019.