Seoul will import United States shale to offset trade deficit

Kogas to Get First US LNG Cargo in July

Kogas to start imports of US shale in July

Kogas said it held the reception ceremony for importing USA liquefied natural gas with Cheniere Energy at Sabine Pass LNG terminal in Louisiana on Sunday, local time. On Sunday (local time), a ceremony was held to mark the launch of Korea-bound LNG cargo at Cheniere's Sabine Pass export terminal in Louisiana. First supplies were expected to commence this year.

Under the terms of the SPA, Cheniere shall sell and make available for delivery to KOGAS approximately 3.5 million tonnes of LNG per year, which represents more than 10 percent of South Korea's total annual demand. The deal will last from 2017 to 2036 and the gas will first arrive to Korea in July. It could also benefit from the reselling of U.S. shale gas to a third country if supply overflows, though it cannot do so with gas from the Middle East under the contract's conditions.

In February 2016, Cheniere became the first company to ship LNG from the contiguous United States in over 50 years, and is now the only exporter of U.S. LNG.

The Korea Gas Corporation expressed expectations that the import of US shale gas will help diversify the nation's Middle East-centered energy supply sources while easing trade imbalances and boosting relations between South Korea and the U.S.

The U.S. shale gas will be transported by six LNG carriers operated by three local shipping firms, according to KOGAS.

Korea has been dependent on countries in the Middle East, including Qatar and Oman, for its gas supply.

Chey Tae-won and Huh Chang-soo, chairmen of the nation's largest natural gas importers SK Group and GS Caltex, will be among the delegation, along with Kogas President Lee Seung-hoon.

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