China shows its muscle
The country was at the centre of activity in the Asia-Pacific region, boosting production and imports—though some showed wariness about Beijing’s growing power
Oil companies operating in Asia-Pacific remained cautious about investing in capex in 2018, despite strengthening oil prices and decreasing rig hire rates. In the first half of the year, fewer than 20 exploration wells were drilled in the region, most of them concentrated in Australia, China, Myanmar and Vietnam. Despite that, the deep-water sector in Asia-Pacific showed heightened activity in 2018, driven by natural gas projects feeding domestic Asian markets or LNG export plants. Increases in Australia and Indonesia took total deep-water production in the region in 2018 to 1.2mn barrels of oil equivalent a day, a big jump from 650,000 boe/d in 2016, according to consultancy Wood Mackenzie.