Korea Oil and Gas Shares Jump After Offshore Fuel Discovery

Korea Oil and Gas Shares Jump After Offshore Fuel Discovery

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(Bloomberg) — South Korean oil and gas shares surged in early trade on Monday after President Yoon Suk Yeol approved a plan to develop a deposit of the fossil fuels discovered off the country’s southeastern coast. 

State-run Korea Gas Corp. jumped as much as 30%, while Posco International Corp. gained 24% following Yoon’s televised speech on the nation’s discovery of the oil and gas reserve. SK Innovation Co., which has a developer and importer of liquefied natural gas unit SK E&S Co., rose as much as 12%. 

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Fossil fuel importers like South Korea have been looking to boost energy security after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine upended markets, briefly sending gas prices to an all-time high and triggering some shortages. Developing domestic resources is one way to reduce dependence on overseas suppliers and normalize subsidized prices at home.

Geophysical exploration indicated there’s a “high possibility” the deposit in the waters off the port city of Pohang holds as much as 14 billion barrels of oil and gas, Yoon said. The estimated volume could be worth more than four years of oil consumption and as much as 29 years of gas demand for the country, he added. 

While the president called the find “large,” the estimated amount of fuel still pales in comparison to reserves in major exporting countries like the US or Saudi Arabia.

Drilling will begin at the end of this year to evaluate the actual level of reserves, with results due by the first half of 2025, Yoon said.

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