Woodside, KNOC to explore Sea of Japan

South Korea reported that Korea National Oil Corp. and Australia's Woodside Energy Ltd. have signed an agreement to explore for oil and gas off South Korea in the Sea of Japan.

Eric Watkins
Senior Correspondent

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 13 -- South Korea reported that Korea National Oil Corp. (KNOC) and Australia's Woodside Energy Ltd. have signed an agreement to explore for oil and natural gas in the Sea of Japan off South Korea. The contract calls for a 50-50 stake between KNOC and Woodside.

Woodside can begin drilling for oil and gas during a 2-year minimum exploration period, and it has the right to extend the exploration period to a total of 4 years.

Woodside said it will conduct joint surveys with KNOC on Block 8, east of Yeongdeok, North Gyeongsang Province, and on Block 6-1, which lies off the city of Pohang. The area, which lies in 1,000-2,000 m of water, is part of the Sea of Japan's Ulleung basin.

South Korea's Commerce and Energy Ministry said Woodside had taken notice of the Sea of Japan area in 2004 after oil and gas were produced from the reserve, which KNOC discovered in 1998. Further tests were conducted in 2005, Korean officials said.

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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