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Ample drilling opportunities enhance Asia Pacific market potential

Posted on 25 March 2010

Asia Pacific rig utilization numbers remain fairly high in all rig categories.

Asia Pacific rig utilization numbers remain fairly high in all rig categories.

With 32% of the world’s offshore rig count, Asia Pacific is the most active offshore region in the world, said Suresh Kumar, Gaffney, Cline & Associates, during his presentation at the 2010 IADC Drilling HSE Asia Pacific Conference. Moreover, he added, “Asia Pacific outlook will support this trend into the future.”

He also noted that, due to increasing drilling opportunities in many countries in this region, Asia Pacific could become a major growth area for drilling operations and rig activity. “Asia Pacific is one place where some of the Gulf of Mexico jackups and MOPUs (mobile offshore production units) could be redeployed,” he said.

As cross-country pipelines are laid and investments are made in LNG plants, E&P focus in the area is shifting from oil to gas as well. For example, Mr Kumar pointed to Australia as being mostly a gas market, though there are some oil fields. Future drilling opportunities for this region lie in deepwater exploration and development, LNG-based gas field development, coal seam gas development, onshore and shallow water small field development and “And tight and shale gas is a possibility,” he added.

The Indonesian market is mostly land rig and jackups. There are a few mid-water floaters, but deepwater has not taken off here, Mr Kumar said. Drilling opportunities lie in deepwater and deep formation exploration, onshore/shallow water small field development, gas field development, oil field redevelopment, improved oil recovery (IOR) and enhanced oil recovery (EOR) development, and coal seam gas development, particularly in the Kalimantan and South Sumatra.

In Malaysia and Brunei, there’s lot of potential for deepwater exploration, he said, while other opportunities lie in deep formation exploration, oil field redevelopment and IOR/EOR development.

In Thailand and Vietnam, Mr Kumar said, “deepwater has not really yet been really active, but there is quite a bit of potential.” The development of many fields were suspended in the 1980s due to low oil prices then, but with higher oil prices and improved technologies, development may now be viable again.

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