Singapore: Rig use in the Asia-Pacific region by petroleum explorers such as Chevron Corp., Total SA and Reliance Industries Ltd rose to a 16-year high in May on increased demand for oil and gas, a report said.
The Asia-Pacific region, led by India and Indonesia, deployed 263 rigs last month, or about 24% of drilling equipment used globally excluding the US and Canada, the highest since February 1992, oilfield services firm Baker Hughes Inc. said on its website. The region’s rig count rose 9% from a year earlier.
A Chevron rig. Petroleum explorers such as Total SA and Reliance have also contributed to greater rig use in Asia-Pacific (Photo by: Stephen Hilger / Bloomberg)
Oil producers are expanding their search for untouched reserves from India to the Canadian Arctic as record oil prices make previously uneconomical fields worth drilling. Increased exploration spending and high prices have kept deep-water rigs operating near capacity for two years and tripled rentals, according to Houston-based rig consultant ODS-Petrodata Inc.
India, the biggest user of rigs in the Asia-Pacific, deployed 81 rigs to drill on land and water, the report said. The country, which imports more than 70% of its crude oil, recorded a drop in the number of offshore rigs used to 24 from 27 a year earlier because of maintenance and competition for drilling equipment from Indonesia and Brazil.
Brazil, which last year announced the largest oil discovery in the western hemisphere since 1976, added two rigs to 26, while Indonesia added four to 25 from a year earlier, the report said. Petroleo Brasileiro SA approved a plan in May to order 12 rigs from foreign shipyards, the first of a 40-rig-building plan.
The international rig count, excluding the US and Canada, for May stood at 1,075 compared with 1,007 in the same month a year ago, the report said.
Baker Hughes has published the rotary rig counts since 1944, when Hughes Tool Co. began weekly counts of the US and Canadian drilling activity, the website said. The monthly international rig count started in 1975.