South Korea Announces Huge Investments in the USA Natural Gas Industry

Sabina Pass Liquefaction

Sabina Pass Liquefaction. Credit: Cheniere Energy, Inc.

The Trump administration which kicked off the White House’s “Energy Week,” has had an overwhelming response from South Korean companies. Within a day from the start of “Energy Week” the South Korea’s energy companies announced four major partnerships with the US companies to enter the natural gas business in the US. The high-level delegation is participating in the White House for these discussions include top executives from the South Korean companies, such as Samsung, LG, SK, and Doosan.

South Korean President Moon Jae is accompanying this delegation and the country is expected to pump in approximately $12.8 billion into the US economy in coming five years. Korea Gas Corp., (the state-owned gas company), will be investing in liquefied natural gas projects in Alaska, Texas and Louisiana states whereas the SK Group from South Korea entered an agreement with General Electric Co. and Continental Resources Inc. for shale gas business and development of shale gas fields. The group is also going to promote the sale of the US LNG and LPG in Asia, South America, and Africa.

South Korea is one of the world’s major importers of LNG who has purchased eight cargoes of the US gas from Sabine Pass terminal of Cheniere Energy Inc. At present, Sabine Pass is the only terminal which is exporting shale gas. Many more terminals have been proposed along US coasts, which will be operational in the near future for effective export of shale gas.

The US LNG is expected to play a major role in South Korea’s future energy policies. South Korea is rapidly moving away from coal and nuclear power to natural gas-fired electricity generation. During this week many other top South Korean companies such as LG, Samsung, Hyundai, Doosan have signed the agreement for investments in the respective sectors in the US.

South Korea is America’s sixth-largest trade partner worth US$112 billion, as per last financial year. But the US trade deficit with South Korea has gone up very high, touching almost $28 billion in 2016. The US is looking forward to bridging the gap with theses new investments.

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