South Korea to Begin Drilling for Gas Hydrates

SEOUL (Dow Jones), Feb. 10, 2010

South Korea will start drilling for gas hydrates and searching its continental shelf as part of an effort to develop new energy resources, the Yonhap news agency reported Wednesday, citing the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy.

Under the ministry's plan to begin commercial use of gas hydrates from 2015, the country will soon conduct in-depth research in the East Sea, the report said.

Gas hydrates are formed by natural gas and water under high pressure and at low temperatures, usually at the seabed or in tundra regions.

Korea will also begin exploring its continental shelf region for undiscovered oil and gas fields, Yonhap said, citing unidentified ministry officials.

Through active exploration and production of oil, the country aims to raise its energy self-sufficiency level to 18.1% of domestic demand by 2012 from 8.1% now, it said.

Copyright (c) 2010 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.