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Korea seeks to extract 14 bil. barrels of oil, gas potentially under East Sea

President Yoon Suk Yeol speaks during a press briefing at the presidential office in Yongsan District, Seoul, Monday. Yoon said a study showed up to 14 billion barrels of crude oil and natural gas could be buried off Korea's southeastern coast. The inset is the location of the suspected oil field. Yonhap

Korea has identified potential reserves of up to 14 billion barrels of crude oil and natural gas off the coast of the southeastern city of Pohang, and will begin exploratory drilling later this year, the presidential office and the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said, Monday.

The suspected amount is enough to meet Korea’s gas demand for the next 29 years and oil demand for four years, and translates into a financial value of 2.2 quadrillion won ($1.64 trillion).

“According to the results of a geophysical survey, there is a high possibility that a massive amount of oil and gas is buried off the coast of Yeongil Bay in Pohang (in North Gyeongsang Province),” President Yoon Suk Yeol said in a briefing at the presidential office in Seoul.

“The results show that there is a very high possibility that up to 14 billion barrels of oil and gas are buried, and this has been verified by leading research institutions and experts,” he said.

The scale of the oil and gas estimated to be buried deep under the East Sea is more than 300 times the size of the East Sea gas 스포츠토토존 field discovered in the late 1990s. It is estimated that this amount could supply the entire country with natural gas for up to 29 years and oil for up to four years, the president added.

Yoon said that the ministry has submitted an exploratory drilling plan which he approved, adding that the result of the exploration is expected to be known in the first half of 2025.

“If we start the first drilling work at the end of this year, we should have some results by the first half of next year. I ask the public to calmly wait for the drilling results,” the president said.

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