* KOGAS currently holds 20 pct stake in LNG Canada project
* Concrete progress over sales plan to be made early 2014
By Jane Chung
DAEGU, South Korea, Oct 15 Korea Gas Corp
(KOGAS) is considering selling 5 to 10 percent of
its stake in the LNG Canada project, in which it currently holds
20 percent, the KOGAS chief executive said on Tuesday at the
World Energy Congress.
The announcement comes after South Korea's new government
earlier this year initiated a review of state-owned overseas
investments in oil and gas due to poor profitability.
"Concrete progress over the sales consideration will be made
early next year," KOGAS CEO Jang Seok-hyo told reporters, adding
that the aim is to improve its financial structure.
Asia's fourth-largest economy is heavily dependent on energy
imports and rapidly expanded overseas investments to develop oil
and gas reserves between 2008 and 2012, hoping to fend off
inflation driven by rising import costs.
LNG Canada is a joint venture involving Shell Canada Ltd,
KOGAS, Mitsubishi Corp and PetroChina Co Ltd
that is to build and operate a liquefied natural gas
(LNG) export terminal in Kitimat, British Columbia, according to
the LNG Canada web site (lngcanada.ca).
KOGAS, the world's largest corporate buyer of LNG, reported
last month to the stock exchange that it was considering selling
at least part of its 15 percent holding in the $18.5 billion
Gladstone LNG (GLNG) project in Australia.
Jang on Tuesday declined to say how much of its stake in the
GLNG project KOGAS might sell.
The government installed this past February has said it
wants to focus more on the quality than the quantity of South
Korea's energy investments.
The policy shift earlier prompted another state-run firm,
Korea National Oil Corporation (KNOC), to say it was considering
selling "non-core parts" of its loss-making Canadian energy
subsidiary Harvest Operations.