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소아쌤

DP policy chief says 'no budget' for oil exploration project without data

By Yonhap

Published : June 11, 2024 - 11:37

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Jin Sung-joon, policy chief of the main opposition Democratic Party, speaks during a policy meeting at the National Assembly in Seoul on Tuesday. (Yonhap) Jin Sung-joon, policy chief of the main opposition Democratic Party, speaks during a policy meeting at the National Assembly in Seoul on Tuesday. (Yonhap)

The chief policymaker of the main opposition Democratic Party said Tuesday no extra budget should be allowed for a project for potential offshore oil and gas reserves in the East Sea unless relevant data is submitted.

The remark came amid growing controversies surrounding Act-Geo, the US geoscience firm that gave a positive assessment of the potential reserves, including one that the company had signed a contract with state-run Korea National Oil Corp. when it was subject to operational restrictions for failing to pay franchise tax.

"KNOC signed the contract with Act-Geo even though its business had been suspended for four years for failing to pay tax (in the US) and there are also allegations that Act-Geo is a paper company created to avoid personal tax," Rep. Jin Sung-joon said during a policy meeting.

Stressing the "astronomical" amount of money needed for the project, he said no increase in budget will be allowed for the drilling exploration unless relevant data is submitted.

The government commissioned the Texas-based geoscience research firm to conduct a study in February last year, which reported that oil deposits, holding up to 14 billion barrels of gas and oil, may be buried in the deep sea off the coast of Yeongil Bay in Pohang, about 260 kilometers southeast of Seoul. (Yonhap)