Korea's state gas company invested large sums in IS-controlled Iraqi regions: lawmaker

By Yonhap
  • Published : Oct 18, 2017 - 16:08
  • Updated : Oct 18, 2017 - 16:11

The state-run Korea Gas Corp. has made huge investments in stalled development projects in conflict-laden Iraq despite security risks sparked by the Islamic State militant group, a lawmaker said Wednesday.

Citing the firm's reports on its overseas investments over the last five years, Rep. Son Kum-ju of the People's Party said that it has invested $372 million in projects to develop gas fields in Akkas and Mansuriyah, which lie southwest and southeast of Baghdad.

The lawmaker pointed out that the KOGAS has failed to recoup any of its investments as the projects were put on hold amid the security crisis in Iraq and warned that its losses could hurt its financial status. 

This photo, taken Aug. 13, 2017, shows Rep. Son Kum-ju of the People`s Party speaking during a press conference at the National Assembly in Seoul. (Yonhap)

The company decided to join the bidding process in September 2010, years after the militant group grabbed international attention, Son added.

"As of last year, the KOGAS' debt ratio reached 325 percent. Having said this, if it fails to take back the investment money, it would have an adverse impact on the company's financial soundness," he said.

"To regain these astronomical amounts of money," he added, "there need to be efforts not only on the part of the company, but also on the part of the government." (Yonhap)