KNOC finds oil reserves in North Korea

Aug 29, 2002 02:00 AM

A Singaporean company announced that it has found oil and gas deposits in North Korea. Sovereign Ventures, a Singaporean petroleum exploration venture, said it has discovered recoverable reserves of at least 1 tcf of natural gas and 50 mm barrels of oil. It said the discovery is particularly significant since the survey covered only a third of the exploration zone sized at 6,000 sq km.
However, Lim Hong-geun, a manager at the Korea National Oil Corp. (KNOC) said “The oil reserve is really insignificant and the company has yet to drill any well yet, meaning that they can’t accurately know the extent of the reserves.” A Commerce-Industry-Energy Ministry official also echoed Lim’s view.

South Korea consumes 2.5 mm bpd of oil. It means the gas and oil deposits would only be equal to South Korea’s consumption for 10-20 days.
Between February and March, the firm said it conducted surveys around Hoiryong and Onsong near North Korea’s border with China. It acquired a 25-year concession from North Korea last September.
The firm said it has signed an agreement with Sovereign Ventures Canada, an unrelated Canadian firm, to extract the deposits. The Canadian company will pay for all costs involving the exploitation of the oil and gas reserves.

Sovereign Ventures Canada will soon undertake an extensive ground gravity and magnetic survey of the reserves. Excel Geophysics in Canada will conduct a ground survey to gauge the extent of the reserves. If the assertion is true, it will be the first discovery of crude oil on the Korean Peninsula.

Source: The Korea Times
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