Southeast Asian oil output likely to peak by 2013
Oil production in Southeast Asia will reach a peak in 2013 as fewer new fields are found, forcing the region to evaluate its dependence on crude, said Michael Smith chief executive of UK-based consultant Energyfiles Ltd.
Crude oil output will hit an apex of 3.3 million barrels a day by 2013, compared to 95 million barrels a day of global production, said Smith, during a presentation at the OSEA 2006 conference in Singapore. Southeast Asia’s gas production will hit a total of 4.7 million barrels of oil equivalent a day at the same time before reaching a top level in 2020.
Smith’s research follows the theory of peak oil that believes oil production will reach a zenith some time either now or some time in the near future. The result of the predicted supply decline will be an increase in the level and volatility of prices.
‘‘This is due to a shortage of opportunities to find new oil,’’ said Smith in an interview at the venue of the conference. ‘‘The region won’t be able to sustain the aircraft and automobile growth that has happened in the past.’’ New deepwater production from Malaysia and Vietnam and supplies from Thailand will stave off the peak, said Smith.
From 2013 onward, the region will become more of a natural gas supplier, exporting 1.6 million barrels of oil equivalent a day.
The decline in production will mean exploration funding will move to higher value areas in West Africa, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caspian Sea, he said.