Korea & Chinese Gas Plans $15 Billion Overseas
Korea Gas Corp., the world’s biggest buyer of liquefied natural gas, plans to spend 17.8 trillion won ($15.5 billion) by 2017 on overseas expansion to bolster supplies of the cleaner-burning fuel, its chief executive said.
“We are seeking opportunities overseas including gas development, gas pipeline investment, LNG terminal construction and city-gas distribution,” Choo Kang Soo said in an interview today. He didn’t say where the investment funds will come from.
Korea Gas is already in talks with Chevron Corp. on a stake in the Wheatstone LNG venture in Western Australia and fuel purchases from the project. This year is the best time to acquire stakes in overseas fields as natural gas prices are stable and Chinese demand for LNG isn’t strong, Choo said.
China National Offshore Oil Corp. agreed in March to buy 3.6 million tons of LNG annually from BG Group Plc’s Queensland Curtis venture in Australia’s largest export deal for the fuel. PetroChina signed with Exxon Mobil Corp. in August to purchase 2.25 million tons a year from the Gorgon venture.
“In the future, China will be an important factor in the LNG market as Chinese demand for the cleaner-burning fuel will increase sharply,” Choo, 65, said in his office at the utility’s headquarters in Seongnam.
PetroChina, Asia’s biggest company by market value, plans to spend at least $60 billion in the next decade on overseas acquisitions. The Chinese company teamed up with Shell in March to buy Australian gas producer Arrow Energy Ltd. for $3.2 billion.