Long term outlook for oil and gas industry remains positive: Iswaran

Gas prices are shown at a Shell gas station in Encinitas, California on Oct 10, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Gas prices are shown at a Shell gas station in Encinitas, California on Oct 10, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - As volatile oil prices plunge the industry into turmoil, "strong economic fundamentals in Asia-Pacific" will prop up energy demand and support exploration and production activities, said Second Minister for Trade and Industry S. Iswaran on Tuesday.

"The long term outlook for the industry remains positive. Strong economic fundamentals in Asia-Pacific, together with its rapid population growth and economic development, will continue to drive energy demand and thus expenditure on exploration and production activities," he said.

Mr Iswaran was speaking to more than 1,500 exhibitors at the opening of the four-day International Oil and Gas Industry Conference and Exhibition held at Marina Bay Sands.

He noted that Asia-Pacific economies alone account for nearly a quarter of global exploration and production expenditure, which is expected to hit a record US$723 billion (S$943 billion) this year.

The region's growing oil exploration and production is also expected to support the continued growth of Singapore's marine and offshore industry, added Mr Iswaran, who is also Minister in the Prime Minister's Office.

This gives Singaporeans more opportunities to engage in high-value research and engineering activities, he said.