Exploration drilling is expected to bounce back in Asia Pacific in 2022, following two years of deferrals and disruptions — a boon for rig owners and related service industries.

“After two years of mediocre activity levels brought on by budget cuts and pandemic-related restrictions, we’re going to see an uptick in 2022 as operators work their way through the backlog,” said Angus Rodger, research director, Asia-Pacific upstream, at Edinburgh-based consultancy Wood Mackenzie.

Key wildcats to watch in South-East Asia include Repsol’s Rencong-1 and the Harbour Energy-operated Timpan-1, both targeting gas in deep waters offshore northern Sumatra, Indonesia; and TotalEnergies’ Tepat North-1 well offshore Sabah, East Malaysia.