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Foreign Capital Might Join North’s Petroleum Development Project in the West Sea

Foreign Capital Might Join North’s Petroleum Development Project in the West Sea

Posted May. 19, 2004 22:04,   


The government is considering a joint investment with foreign capital firms on a Seohan Bay petroleum development project proposed by North Korea.

It is also known that Korea National Oil Corp. has been collecting information not only on Seohan Bay but also on other potential spots across North Korea

Yesterday, an official involved said, “The government is mulling over how to join the project, either by an independent investment or by a joint investment with foreign capital, when the full-out engagement has been decided to be launched.”

Government sources said, “We have to consider working together with foreign capital firms because it costs as much as 13 billion won just for testing a single oil drilling as well as the very likely possibility of finding nothing after testing.”

In response to it, Korea National Oil Corp. yesterday said, “We have been raking relevant information as much as possible through various channels such as the international symposia to facilitate South Korea’s joint venture into the North Korea petroleum development project, which is consistent with South-North Korea economic cooperation.” In addition, aside from this project, the National Intelligence Service is known to have established an “energy team” last year, whose task is to draft a long-term plan for energy management, including petroleum. This means that South Korea has also jumped on the bandwagon by following suit of other advanced countries such as the United States and Japan which have begun national projects of examining the condition of resources on their soils. Meanwhile, North Korea suggested a joint-research effort on building energy networks between the two Koreas. Kim Jun-hong, chief researcher of North Korea’s Energy and Remote Control Institute, at the “International Symposium on Linkage of Northeast Asia Energy,” said, “Amid increasing interest in energy network projects, among North Korea, South Korea, and Russia, both Koreas will have to look for measures to cover financial problems such as loaning and to tackle technical problems through North-South joint research.”

Ki-Jeong Ko koh@donga.com