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New Projects Boost Employment Opportunities in Asia’s Oil & Gas Industry

Following our analysis on the future of production in Europe, we take a look at the state of Oil & Gas in Asia; analysing the key areas of growth across the Asia Pacific (APAC) countries and the predicted impact on employment opportunities.

130 new projects increase productivity for Oil & Gas in Asia

Over the next six years, more than 130 crude and natural gas projects are expected to commence production in Asia’s Oil & Gas market. According to a report by GlobalData, by 2025 these projects are expected to contribute a massive 518 thousand barrels per day (mbd) to global oil production and up to 11.5 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) to global gas production.

Upcoming Projects Production in Asia, 2018 to 2025 (Source: Upstream Analytics © GlobalData)

Leading the pack on project starts, India is expected to launch a total of 62 new projects, followed by China and Indonesia with 20 and 19 new projects respectively.

Offshore developments dominate new gas projects

Offshore developments will be responsible for over 90% of Asia’s new gas production in 2025. Shallow water fields are estimated to produce 5,976 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd), with deepwater and ultra-deepwater contributing 2,723 and 1,720 mmcfd respectively.

New onshore gas projects will add 1,068mmcfd to the region’s gas production by 2025. Similarly to gas, close to 88% of new oil production will come from offshore fields, with the remaining 12% of Asia’s oil and condensate production coming from onshore fields by 2025.

Meeting India’s growing energy demands

Already the world's third largest energy consumer globally, India’s demand for oil is expected to increase threefold by 2035, with demand for gas expected to surge by 240%, furthering India’s reliance on gas imports.

However, the Indian government are introducing measures to tackle increasing domestic demand, with a growing focus on new Oil & Gas projects in-country and a predicted increase of 20% in natural gas production by 2021.

Large foreign investment fuels India’s upcoming Oil & Gas projects

As India aims to cut oil imports by 10 percent before 2022, foreign investors will have opportunity to invest in projects worth £242 billion in India, according to Mr Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Government of India.

Speaking at the Commencement of Work for 10th CGD Bidding Round, Petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan said that the Indian Oil & Gas sector is currently seeing investments worth around Rs 5 trillion (£56 billion) in exploration, distribution, marketing, regasification, pipeline network laying.

India is also expanding capacity for imports, as the state of Gujarat will become home to more than a dozen terminals for importing liquefied natural gas (LNG) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in the next few years, with an investments of around £1.7 billion.

Huge potential in China’s untapped oil reserves

Forecast to be the largest contributor of Asia’s oil and condensate production over the next decade, China’s upcoming oil projects are predicted to add 195mbd by 2025 and gas production is expected to double, reaching outputs of 325 bcm by 2040.

To support this growth, Chinese oil operators have set their sights on the potentially huge untapped reserves of the Xinjiang province.

Although oil exploration in the desert province of Xinjiang presents complex geological and political challenges, China’s National Oil Companies are progressing with challenging ultra-deep drilling and shale projects in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

This recent change in oil exploration marks a new focus on oil exploration within the country, as China looks to further its energy security by minimising reliance on energy imports and coal production.

Indonesia and Malaysia lead Oil & Gas production in Southeast Asia

By 2025, Indonesia and Malaysia will represent around 80% of the South East Asia’s total crude production.

Forecast Production in Southeast Asia, 2018 to 2025 (Source: Upstream Analytics © GlobalData)

A total of 54 crude oil and natural gas projects are expected to commence operation in the region within the next six years, according to GlobalData’s latest report.

Activity from Malaysia is predicted to drive natural gas production, contributing an estimated 3.8bcfd to the region’s gas production by 2025.

Offshore Projects and Innovations Boost Employment in Singapore

Cementing its status as the ‘undisputed oil hub in Asia’, Singapore celebrated its sixth year running as the world’s top shipping centre in 2019.

Not content with being the epicentre of shipping for Oil & Gas in Asia, Singapore is also transforming the ways of working within the industry. Oil & Gas companies within the country have commenced work on multiple innovative and record breaking projects over the past couple years, with large vessel construction, refinery projects and offshore developments representing the majority of new developments in the region.

One particularly ground-breaking project within Singapore is the world’s first crude steam cracker by ExxonMobil, crude oil at the companies multi-billion dollar complex, on Singapore’s Jurong Island. The cracker represents new possibilities for reducing energy consumption and emissions in oil production, as it can crack anything from light gases to heavy liquids, including crude oil.

Speaking on the technology, ExxonMobil Chemical’s president, Stephen Pryor, said “The new technology helps reduce raw material costs, energy consumption and carbon emissions, while the cracker also produces fuel components.”

Click here to see more of the top Oil & Gas projects worth watching in Singapore

Employment opportunities on the rebound in Singapore

As Singapore’s innovative projects continue to breathe new life into Oil & Gas projects, firms within the region are starting to ramp up their levels of production and projects, bringing a new wave of job opportunities to Asia Oil & Gas market.

Singapore conglomerate Keppel Corp – the world’s largest oil rig supplier - recently announced that it plans to add 1,800 staff to its Keppel Offshore and Marine business, representing a healthy 17 percent upturn in the division's workforce and a signifier of increasing demand within Singapore’s Oil & Gas industry.

Thailand diversifies Oil & Gas plans to meet growing domestic demand

In an effort to meet the country’s growing energy demands, Thailand’s state-controlled Oil & Gas company PTT is looking to oil-rich countries in the Middle East. PTT is currently examining partnership possibilities for crude oil supply with Middle Eastern countries according to the Chief Executive Officer Chansin Treenuchagron.

Speaking to Bloomberg in August, he said: “We need crude and we maybe need exploration in some countries in the Middle East, because we need supply for Thailand and Asian markets.”

Thailand’s oil demand rose to 1.48 MMbpd last year, which is 1 million more than it produces, according to BP data.

The company is also safeguarding against any long-term move away from crude consumption by diversifying to natural gas production and power generation, which would benefit from increasing demand for electricity in the region.

“We aim to be the center of gas in this region,” Chansin said, adding the company is also increasingly investing in renewable energy and expanding its retail businesses.

Concern over skills shortage for Asia’s rising Oil & Gas employment opportunities

Although new projects and innovations are set to present an upturn in activity for the Oil & Gas in Asia, there is concern for how operators will meet the growing demand for skills across in the industry.

Almost half of Oil & Gas industry professionals around the world see a potential skills shortage as the biggest worry in their sector, according to the Global Energy Talent Index (GETI) survey.

In comparison to Oil & Gas markets across the globe, respondents in Asia were more likely to report that the talent crunch has hit their region, with Oil & Gas companies struggling to fill in the talent gap and finding that even higher salaries can’t attract the needed skilled workforce.

Finding the right skills for Asia’s Oil & Gas projects

With Oil & Gas operations on the rise in Asia, many operators are facing higher workforce demands and increasing competition when searching for workers with the right skills for their projects.

At First Recruitment Group, we have over 20 years of experience in providing skilled Oil & Gas workers in Asia and across the globe, working hard to source the correct talent for our clients hiring and project needs.

If you are looking for a recruitment agency in Asia, that offers full compliance and a local presence, contact our Oil & Gas Business Manager, Mark Wallace, on +44 (0)1925 909252 or email mark.wallace@firstrg.com

For more information on our hiring capabilities across Asia, click here to read about our international recruitment capability.


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