2018 was a transformative year for Latin America's upstream sector. Exiting the downturn, governments capitalized on the steady success of licensing rounds which brought new investors to their doorsteps. Exploration activity remained at the forefront with the mounting success of ExxonMobil's campaign in Guyana. Argentina experienced a boom from Vaca Muerta shale gas production. In the Andes, Ecuador piqued investor interest with the new Intracampos round, but community issues continue to stymie operations in Colombia and Peru. Declines in Venezuela show little signs of slowing. And elections across Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico left new governments in place. Brazil's new administration will build on the momentum and progress of the previous one, but Mexico's new leadership has challenged the energy reform and is proposing a new paradigm altogether for the country's oil sector.