Koreans press flesh at Texas shale gas forum

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Koreans press flesh at Texas shale gas forum

The Korean government and private companies called for more active shale gas trade between Korea and the United States at a forum in Texas.

The Federation of Korean Industries and the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy jointly held a business forum in Houston, Texas, on Thursday with the Greater Partnership in Houston, the regional chamber of commerce, seeking joint business opportunities involving shale gas, ranging from energy to offshore plant construction, aviation and automobiles.

Some 110 Korean businesspeople including heads of Hyundai Motor and LG Group, the American representatives of Samsung Electronics and SK E&S, and CEOs of small and midsize enterprises joined the forum. Some 90 American companies, including GE Power and Water, Chevron Gas and Midstream and JP Morgan Chase, participated .

“Korea hopes to expand the use of American shale gas to replace other energy resources,” said Trade Minister Yoon Sang-jick. “The United States has to use Korean liquefied natural gas [LNG] tanks and other processing infrastructure in Korea, which is the largest in Northeast Asia.”

The government said the two countries should also pursue joint shale gas drilling R&D projects and jointly explore third-country markets with American drilling technologies and Korean offshore plant construction technologies.

After former President Lee Myung-bak pushed policies to replace LNG with shale gas in 2011, those plans haven’t continued after President Park Geun-hye took office. However, shale gas, which emits less greenhouse gases compared to other gas, coal and oil, has recently emerged as an interest of the Park administration.

So far, SK E&S, a gas drilling and power generation arm of SK Innovation, is one of few Korean companies involved in shale gas. It joined a shale gas field development project last year through which the company obtained nearly 38 million tons of shale gas.

BY KIM JI-YOON [kim.jiyoon@joongang.co.kr]
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