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Optimism amid the downturn at Asia conference

Pessimism over the oil price reigned at this year’s Asia Oil and Gas conference, in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur, but some argued that the downturn could yield benefits for the industry

The oil price is about all anyone in the industry talks about these days, and it was no different at this year’s Asia Oil and Gas conference, one of the region’s largest industry confabs. The 18th edition of the conference in Kuala Lumpur was a more muted affair than years past, reflecting a new reality that settled in for the industry. And few, if any, of the executives, ministers and analysts gathered saw reason for optimism that the industry would see a swift exit out of the downturn. Over the past year, the oil price has taken the industry on a rollercoaster. As shale output surged and geopolitical risks seemed to subside, the oil price plummeted. Brent crude fell by more than half from

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