The liquefied natural gas (LNG) sector is seeing a lot of activity. Spurred by prices in the key Japanese market hitting a two-year high in recent weeks, averaging $8.40/MMBtu for January.
That resurgence has prompted several high-profile players to enter the space. Including Thailand’s PTTEP, which said this week it is prepping for a major move into LNG trading, storage and sales.
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Korea Gas Corp
And elsewhere, the world’s second-largest LNG buyer — Korea Gas Corp. (KOGAS) — is going one step further. Saying that it wants to directly buy into natural gas projects that supply the global LNG industry.
Korea Gas Corp chief executive officer Lee Seung-hoon told a conference in Seoul Thursday that his company is “interested” in participating in U.S. shale gas projects — recognizing the ever-growing role shale is playing in supplying LNG exports.
“Securing U.S. shale gas is crucial because it’s an important resource,” Lee told attendees.
That interest is coming as KOGAS is expecting its first cargos of LNG supplied from U.S. shale to arrive this summer — under a 20-year offtake deal struck by the company with Cheniere Energy for shipments from the Gulf Coast.
Such supply deals have given KOGAS a toe in the water for shale. But direct buy-in to producing projects would be a much bigger step for the firm, and could represent a new source of project funding emerging for shale E&Ps across the U.S.
The move makes sense given that some of Korea’s competitors for gas supplies