Wednesday, May 8, 2013

South Korean Updates: Seoul to diversify natural gas imports, build more storage facilities (30 Apr 2013)

Seoul to diversify natural gas imports, build more storage facilities

April 30, 2013
Yonhap News Agency
natural gas-supply plan

Seoul to diversify natural gas imports, build more storage facilities

SEOUL, April 30 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will diversify its import sources for natural gas, one of the country's key energy sources, and build more storage facilities as part of an effort to secure a stable supply, the country's energy ministry said Tuesday.

According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, the country will increase natural gas imports from the North American region where shale gas is abundant.

Last year, imports from the Middle Eastern region accounted for 47 percent of the country's natural gas imports in total. Southeast Asia came in next with a 33 percent share, followed by Africa with a 10 percent share and Russia with a 7 percent share.

South Korea, the world's No. 2 net importer of liquefied natural gas, has been pushing to diversify its sources of energy supply and expand purchases of shale gas to 20 percent of its natural gas imports by 2020.

Technological advances for extracting shale gas, which is natural gas formed from being trapped in shale rock far below the surface, have fueled the boom of the shale gas industry in the U.S. over the past years.

South Korea's state-run Korea National Oil Corp. has invested more than US$2 billion in shale gas assets in the U.S., while Korea Gas Corp. has announced its intention to import another 3 million metric tons a year. 

The ministry said the government will build more storage facilities that can house 3.21 million kiloliters of natural gas.

Its projected demand for natural gas would decline at an annual rate of 0.1 percent down the road to 37.69 million metric tons in 2027 from last year's 38.28 million metric tons.

Demand for natural gas by households is expected to rise at a rate of 2.7 percent on average a year through 2027, while demand for power generation is forecast to drop at an annual rate of 5.5 percent, according to the ministry.



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