If 2016 has proved anything with any certainty, it is that nothing is certain. Such a paradox is unlikely to inspire confidence in the oil market – yet it is borne out in a year that has seen everything from collaboration to competition, and even collapse. There were glimmers of hope with news of OPEC’s agreement to cut output in November, but the outlook for 2017 remains cautious. A planned US$28 billion mega-merger between Halliburton and Baker Hughes was called off in the spring because of antitrust concerns. General Electric swooped in a few months later with its own proposal to merge its oil and gas wing with Baker Hughes, with the deal now going through the requisite regulatory hoops. If the deal succeeds, it will further blur the lines between the oilfield equipment manufacturing process and the services element. Deals like this are interesting in terms of how the industry regards innovation. GE has already experimented with an uptime-only BOP rental agreement with Diamond Drilling, and further tie-ups in other industry sectors could mean a shift in the landscape of services provision and technology development. With lower cost and increased efficiency being the key drivers of any technology deployed in oilfields today, new integrated businesses may be better positioned than most. More M&A activity is probable in 2017. The hydrocarbons industry has looked outward to new ideas this year more than in any other since I have edited InnovOil. ‘Technology Transfer’ is not a term confined to afternoon conference sessions, but something which is now under way across the industry. We have seen drones deliver cargo to vessels, new long-distance fibre-optic monitoring, x-rays used for downhole imaging and much more. This is a trend that I hope to see continue next year. In this our 2016 Annual Review we take a look back at the most interesting tech developments covered this year. The NewsBase editorial team also looks back on the year’s regional trends and innovations, and looks ahead to what to expect in 2017. I would like to thank all the inventors and innovators, professors and professionals that have featured in the magazine this year. InnovOil will return in the New Year ahead of the annual Subsea Expo in Aberdeen, where we look forward to meeting many more technology developers with stories to tell. All that remains is for me and the team is to wish you all a merry Christmas and all the very best for a prosperous 2017.