Asia-Pacific upstream 2017 in review: operators lean, governments mean, explorers not keen
2017 in Asia Pacific did not look like the beginning of the end of the downturn, but it may have been the end of the beginning. The year saw licence awards and resources discovered hold steady, but exploration drilling continued to fall, M&A was patchy and FIDs were few and far between. Exploration – A year of depressed budgets saw delayed drilling commitments or dropping them altogether become a common theme, especially so in deepwater. Both E&A wells completed and exploration licence awards hit a new low of 251 and 52, respectively. Development – Only six FIDs as most companies continued to re-examine and review project options. Total regional capex was US$63 billion, down 8% decline on 2016. Corporate – The Majors tried to accelerate regional asset disposals, with mixed success. Our M&A tool recorded a net resource of 1 billion boe being sold, mostly to regional players.