Tuesday, September 30, 2008

353 Billion Cubic Feet of Natural Gas/Year to South Korea from Russia

MOSCOW: Russia has reached agreement with South Korea to supply 10 billion cubic metres (BCM) of natural gas a year. The deal will help Russia diversify gas exports away from Europe, which seeks to reduce its dependence on Russian energy.

Under the preliminary agreement, signed on Monday on the sidelines of Korean President Lee Myung-bak’s visit to Moscow, a pipeline to South Korea will be laid via North Korea from gas fields on Sakhalin Island in Russia’s Far East. The pipeline will initially carry 10 BCM of gas a year, or about 20 per cent of South Korea’s annual consumption. The supplies will continue for 30 years starting in 2015.

Russia has welcomed Korea’s plans to bid for Russian oil and gas assets and build petrochemical projects and LNG plants in the Russian Far East. India has long been advised to follow the same winning formula – offer investment and technology in exchange for access to Russian energy resources – but has failed to achieve any breakthroughs since winning a stake in the Sakhalin-1 oil and gas field seven years ago.

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