South Korea, Oman strengthen LNG ties

South Korea and Oman agreed to continue to cooperate closely on LNG supplies and the energy sector amid a surge in international gas and LNG prices.

South Korea’s Trade, Industry and Energy Minister Lee Chang-yang held talks on September 5 with Oman’s Energy and Minerals Minister Salim bin Nasser Al Aufi, according to a statement by MOTIE.

“Minister Lee noted how important the two countries are to one another, as Oman is fourth largest LNG supplier (9.6 percent of Korea’s total LNG imports) to Korea, while Korea is Oman’s largest LNG importer (44.2 percent of Oman’s total LNG exports),” the statement said.

The Minister said in the statement that “amid skyrocketing LNG prices from rising uncertainties in the international gas market, securing the Korea-Oman energy supply chain is critical, and close cooperation should be maintained.”

Both Ministers agreed that they have “great prospects” of cooperating in the green hydrogen area, which can utilize Oman’s rich renewable energy resources.

“Accordingly, joint measures across green hydrogen production, overseas hydrogen supply chain establishment, hydrogen cars and fuel cell are potential areas for cooperation,” the statement said.

South Korean LNG imports down this year, Oman boosts LNG exports

According to GIIGNL data, South Korea’s LNG imports rose 12.6 percent last year to 46.92 million tons. Oman supplied about 4.62 million tons of these volumes.

However, South Korean LNG imports dropped from 27.1 million tons in the January-July period last year to about 26 million tons of LNG in the same period this year as prices surged, according to customs data.

On the other side, Oman’s LNG exports rose 8 percent in the first half of this year to 91 cargoes.

State-owned Oman LNG is the country’s only LNG producer.

The government of Oman holds 51 percent in Oman LNG while energy giant Shell has a 30 percent stake. Other shareholders include TotalEnergies, Korea LNG, PTTEP, Mitsubishi, Mitsui, and Itochu.

Omar LNG operates three LNG trains in Qalhat, near Sur with a nameplate capacity of 10.4 million tonnes per year sourcing gas from the central Oman gas field complex.

The firm mostly supplies LNG under long-term deals. It has contracts with South Korea’s Kogas, BP, Itochu, Osaka Gas, and Naturgy.

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