SYDNEY: Moody's Investors Service said it has a “stable” rating outlook for the Asia-Pacific oil and gas sector, excluding Japan, influenced by strong crude oil prices.
It said crude prices, now at record levels, are expected to remain strong well into 2005, aiding exploration and production companies in the sector.
Meanwhile, the ratings agency said, a generally stable outlook for the refining and marketing sector is supported by favourable industry fundamentals.
Moody's Sydney-based vice-president and senior credit officer Terry Fanous said the firm expects oil consumption trends to remain solid over the next 12 months.
He said the current cyclical upswing in the refining sector may persist for another 12 to18 months, due to China's strong demand for oil, limited new capacity additions over the next three years, and the closure of some small refineries in the region. – AFX-Asia