Kogas finds natural gas off Mozambique coast

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Kogas finds natural gas off Mozambique coast

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Top: Employees work on a borehole shaft on an oil well in waters off Mozambique. Above: A drillship of the Mozambique natural gas field

The Ministry of Knowledge Economy announced on Aug. 1 that the state-run Korea Gas Corporation (Kogas) made a new natural gas field discovery in Area 4, offshore Mozambique, at the Mamba North East 2 exploration prospect. The latest reserve is the fifth successful exploration well of Area 4 and is predicted to include 10 trillion cubic feet (about 230 million tons) of natural gas.

The fifth exploration well is located 60 kilometers (37.2 miles) off the shore of Mozambique, is 23 kilometers from the first exploration well Mamba South 1, which was the first successful exploration of gas in October last year, and is 9 kilometers east from the third successful exploration well, Mamba North East 1. Since the drilling first started in June, Kogas succeeded in finding 200-meter layer of gas field, drilling down to the target depth of 5,365 meters.

Kogas has found 22.5 trillion cubic feet of gas from the Area last year and an additional 39.5 trillion cubic feet this year.

With the new finding, a total of 62 trillion cubic feet of natural gas has so far been discovered under sea off the southeastern African country. Kogas expects the estimated finding will add up to a total of 70 trillion cubic feet of natural gas with at least four additional exploration wells.

Ministry officials said Kogas is expected to secure natural gas that is sufficient for the country’s needs for four years (140 million tons) with the findings in Area 4. Prime Minister Kim Hwang-sik made a call to President Armando Emilio Guebuza and Prime Minister Aires Bonifacio Baptista Ali of Mozambique on July 12 during Prime Minister Kim’s visit to the country. At these meetings, leaders of the two countries agreed to construct an LNG plant and sell produced natural gas.

Mozambique requested to develop this project promptly and swiftly since it faces competition in the LNG market. Based on the agreement made between the two countries, Mozambique Mineral Resources Minister Esperanca Laurinda Bias discussed specific ways of cooperation with her Korean counterpart Minister Hong Suk-woo and the Kogas CEO Choo Kang-soo during Minister Bias’ visit to the Asian country.

Meanwhile, Kogas was named the Outstanding Institute for two straight years in government autonomous management evaluation by the Public Organization Management Committee of Ministry of Strategy and Finance. The honorable mention stems in part from the overseas business department’s role in outstanding results in profit - dividend from the overseas gas field investment increasing 38 percent from the $97 million to $134 million.

Mozambique gas field is the world’s second largest gas field as of 2011 and as of March the 900 million tons of gas has been found. Since Kogas has 10 percent of the holdings, which equals to two and a half years worth of Korea’s natural gas consumption (based on 2011 records of 33.6 million tons).

By the year-end, Kogas plans to drill up four additional exploration wells and further discovery of gas field is expected. The state-run company has been preparing a stepping stone to upgrade and spread its brand power as the overseas resource developing company by discovering and developing the Mozambique gas field. For the first time in the world, the Korean company has used CSG (Coal Seam Gas) in Australia to promote a liquefied natural gas business as well as in the Indonesian gas field development industry.

In addition, the Korean company has secured Canada’s unconventional gas.

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