Korea Gas delays Iraq energy project work
Seoul, June 16, 2014
Development of Iraq's Akkas gasfield has been delayed due to the latest crisis in the Opec member nation, South Korea's energy ministry said yesterday, quoting project owner Korea Gas Corporation (Kogas).
An official at the state-run gas company said the delay began last week as those who worked on pipeline tasks near the battles had fled to safe areas.
"If the civil war expands and the US military joins, it is likely that the development will be halted temporarily. In the worst case, it is possible for us to withdraw," said the Kogas source.
The US ordered an aircraft carrier to move into the Gulf, in case Washington decides to pursue a military option after insurgents overran areas in the north and advanced on Baghdad. An offensive by insurgents that threatens to dismember Iraq seemed to slow.
In a statement, South Korea's energy ministry, which held an emergency meeting with related oil, gas and construction firms yesterday, said it would set up contingency plans for their projects in Iraq, including Akkas.
No major disruption has occurred so far, it added, including to crude oil imports from Iraq. South Korea imported $9.23 billion of crude from Iraq last year, accounting for 9.3 per cent of its total imports.
Kogas is considering selling a stake of 49 per cent in its fully-owned Akkas gasfield. A company spokesman declined to comment on the report, but a company source confirmed that a plan to reduce debt had been submitted to the government.-Reuters