Keplinger, H.F.; The Keplinger Companies, International Energy Consultants, United States of America

Introduction

South East Asia is now preparing for one of the greatest periods of exploration activity in its history. Next to the United States, it will be the second largest area for new well activity in the world. Many are excited about the prospects because of some recent successes and because so little seismic activity has been done throughout the area.

If there is any plateau, it should only be considered as occurring for a brief period and due primarily to the worldwide recession and the lack of capital for investment. This problem has been shared by many other developing countries all over the world. As a result, many energy development plans have not undertaken as planned in South East Asia. However, overall exploration and rig activity has been stable during the last year. The results have been encouraging with finds in the South China Sea and the North West Shelf of Australia.

As a result of the push to develop their own energy sources, these countries will become prime areas for new investment. The energy investment needs will be substantial. Petroleum exploration and development may require as much as $28.2 billion in annual expenditures by 1990. (Ref 1)

In the long run there are strong forces that are pushing South East Asia in its development of its energy resources. Many of these countries are importing large quantities of energy, which has caused problems with their current accounts. Since they are transferring wealth outside of their own countries to purchase oil, they see the importance of developing other energy sources such as natural gas and coal. These countries also want to take their place in the industrial mainstream. As they change their production base, they will require more energy. production base, they will require more energy.

STRENGTH OF THE MARKETS

East Asian Market Growth (Table 1). Though there is some variance between the individual countries, these countries are experiencing higher growth rates in their gross domestic product than many industrialized countries. While the growth rate was lower in 1982 for some of the countries, the overall growth rate was still higher than other developing countries. In 1982, the Asian Development Bank reported that its member countries experienced an increase in the gross domestic product of about 3.8 percent compared to 6.4 percent in 1981. There are other favorable market factors in this area, the average rate of inflation declined from about 13 percent in 1981 to 8 percent in 1982.

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