|KOGAS CEO Jang Seok-hyo|
The state-run Korea Gas Corp., the largest LNG importer in the world, is looking to increase the share of shale gas in its supply of imported natural gas, the company’s head said in a recent press conference.
“KOGAS is to import 3.5 million tons of shale gas annually from the United States beginning 2017, but it seems not a bad idea to raise it to 4 million tons or more,” KOGAS CEO Jang Seok-hyo said.
With this year’s total gas imports estimated at 40 million tons, the original agreement on 3.5 million tons of shale gas would account for a mere 8.7 percent.
CEO Jang further emphasized that the “long-term supply and demand plan for natural gas after the 2017-2018 period will be important” and “in consideration of the course of our contract with producing countries, we must decide sometime between this year and the next whether or not we will buy more shale gas.”
The CEO expressed that strategically speaking, this year or next year appeared favorable timing to strike a deal.
He also revealed a willingness to establish a consortium to potentially make a group purchase of liquefied natural gas ― from the overseas market ― with private enterprises.
This can be understood as an effort to construct a cooperative relationship in order to avoid negative effects that can rise from a rather competitive setting.
Regarding rumors of a possible M&A with a drilling company, Jang saw such a scenario as unlikely.
By Kim Joo-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org)