Gas Pipeline Worries Being Addressed

The CEO of Korea Gas Corporation (KOGAS), Choo Kang Soo, has reaffirmed that if Russia cannot meet its obligations to supply Pressurized Natural Gas (PNG) through the proposed pipeline across North Korea, South Korea hopes to be able to get Liquified Natural Gas at the same price.

Joo, testifying before the Knowledge Economy Committee of the National Assembly today as part of an annual governmental audit, explained, “We are currently discussing what to do were the pipeline to be shut off.”

“The gas pipeline project will only be allowed to move forward when there is a roadmap in place to deal with the areas of public concern,” he noted.

“There are no thoughts of suddenly increasing our imports of PNG to 7.5 million tons,” he went on, adding, “We intend to increase it gradually, a million tons at a time.”

He also added that South Korea is making plans to ensure that any excess demand can be met by third parties throughout.

Meanwhile, explaining why the government is pushing for a pipeline overland, not one running along the sea floor, Choo also said, “Bringing it in by sea was adjudged to be impossible. Plus, either way requires cooperation with North Korea. The sea at Vladivostok is 2.5km deep, and it would be no good were the pipeline to go that way and then get corroded.”

He also moved to dismiss concerns over calls from North Korea for excessive transit fees, saying, “We just buy the gas, with everything included.”