South Korea, Iraq Sign Memo to Jointly Develop Oil, Gas Projects

SEOUL Apr 12, 2007 Dow Jones Newswires

South Korea and Iraq have signed an initial agreement to jointly develop crude oil and natural gas projects, Korea's Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy said Thursday.

Under the agreement, the South Korean government will help its nation's companies expand investments in new oil field development projects in Iraq, the energy ministry said in a statement.

Korean Energy Minister Kim Young-Joo also agreed with visiting Iraqi Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani that the two countries should work toward launching a minister-level resources cooperation committee, the ministry said.

South Korea, which is the world's fourth-largest importer of crude oil, aims to further expand oil imports from Iraq from around 15.4 million barrels a year now, it said.

The ministry said the visiting Iraqi oil minister agreed to positively review South Korea's plan to develop Halfaya oil field in the southeastern Iraqi city of Amara.

State-run Korea National Oil Corp. signed an initial agreement in 1997 to develop the Halfaya oil field, which is estimated to have between 3.4 billion barrels and 3.8 billion barrels of oil in reserves. Further developments were halted because of U.N. economic sanctions.

Copyright (c) 2007 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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