A prized aspiration: Stability

Asia Pacific Region

The state of the industry in the Asia Pacific Region, at this point of the year, remains “relatively active – and hopeful that activity levels will remain stable,” Region president Joe Lambiase said.

“The profession is still doing OK – there are still jobs available,” he said. “Maybe not as much as in mid-2008, but at a healthy level.”

Exploration activity in the region during the past year, he said, “is difficult to categorize.

“There was a fair amount of activity, but a lot of it was the result of commitments made one or two years earlier,” Lambiase said. “Acreage acquisitions were down, but not dead.”

The Region didn’t have any one focused “hot area” as do many other locations, Lambiase said – although, in general, large and small companies drilled a lot of deepwater and syn-rift targets, respectively.

“I look for the same play trends to be pursued by the same types of companies over diverse geographic areas” in the coming year, he added.

The Asia Pacific Region officials, like others, see the fulfillment of stable oil prices and budgets as leading challenges to overcome in 2010.

“There are adequate prospects and development projects,” Lambiase said, “if there is money to drill them.”

But there is some potential trouble on the Region’s horizon.

“Some of the small companies could be in financial trouble if their upcoming wells are unsuccessful and they cannot raise more money,” Lambiase warned. “This could lead to a number of them going out of business in one way or another, which could have a knock-on effect for employment if it happens to enough companies.”

The remedy?

“I’d like to see a stable economic environment,” he said, “so that companies and professionals alike can adjust to stable activity levels.”

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Joseph J. Lambiase
Joseph J. Lambiase

Joseph J. Lambiase is serving his second term as the Asia Pacific Region president. He is with Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand.