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South Korea’s LNG Deal Will Deliver Huge Benefits to US

FractivistsK.J. Rodgers
Crownsville, Maryland  

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South Korea and the U.S. came to a 20-year agreement on LNG Exports. This partnership is leading to much more than just gas. 

Korea has been in the news a lot recently. Often times we are hearing horrible stories about the despicable acts of the North and their relentless agitation towards the South. However, our relationship with Korea on the trade side has seemed a bit one-sided: until now.

South Korea has come a long way on the global markets. Samsung, Hyundai, and LG have made their marks in the U.S. These consumer products have caused quite the trade deficit as we have been importing way more than exporting to the peninsula in recent years.  This deficit is scrutinized as it tends to favor South Korea. Late last month, Korea and the United States came to a new deal based around the latest U.S. export that so many are craving; liquefied natural gas.

South Korea's KoGas

In May, South Korea’s President, Moon Jae-in was elected and decided that they would transition away from coal and nuclear energy by pushing forward on a deal signed in 2012. Now, the state-owned gas supplier, KOGAS, has commenced a 20-year agreement to supply 3.5 million tons of LNG to South Korea from the Sabine Pass Liquefaction facility in Louisiana. This is more than 10% of South Korea’s annual demand. The Trump administration estimates this deal to be near $25 billion.

Asia is a currently the hotbed for LNG imports. We discussed recently how China’s long-term agreement was good for both countries, as well as the environment.  Japan, also, has been receiving U.S. LNG imports, so it makes good sense South Korea should be next as they are the 3rd largest buyer of natural gas. By supplying 10% of the world’s 3rd largest LNG market and combining with a number of other countries we are now supplying, you could say the U.S. is now (or close to being) a net exporter.

Just like watching an infomercial we can say, “but wait, there’s more!” A lot more actually as South Korea is in talks with Cheniere Energy to develop more capacity. Currently, there are several trains, not rail trains, but liquefaction trains, at Sabine Pass. Cheniere has permits for two additional trains that have yet to be commercialized and Korea may help take that on.KoGas CEO, Seung-Hun Lee said:

“There is a strong possibility, But at this moment we are just talking about the possibility. What is sure is we are taking gas now from train 3 at Sabine Pass.”

Sabine Pass Liquefaction Trains

Korea has also come to a couple of more agreements with Continental Resources Inc., (CLR) and General Electric, (GE). The agreements are for South Korea-based SK Group to invest $1.6 Billion in domestic gas projects from Alaska to Oklahoma. CLR CEO Harold Hamm said,

“By 2019 the United States will expand our exports 500%. In the U.S. we are currently exporting 2.5 Bcf and will increase to 11 Bcf by 2019. If we keep permits coming through on facilities, we can grow that amountof gas around the globe to 30 Bcf by 2025, 2030. This creates jobs and opportunity for everybody.”

But wait, there’s even more! I mentioned the trade deficit that we have with Korea, along with the natural gas agreements, but we have been able to tie into other industries as well. Samsung plans to spend $380 million on a factory in South Carolina and another $1.5 billion on a Texas semiconductor plant. LG is earmarking a $250 million plant in Tennessee and $300 million on a facility in New Jersey. This is all on top of the call to lifting barriers to U.S. auto sales in South Korea.

What we have been able to do here is two-fold. Natural gas has paved the way for initial jobs and economic impacts at the source of the development. It was used to create a supersized bargaining chip that brought more jobs back in manufacturing in several areas – all while decreasing the trade deficit. This is terrific news and I expect other deals to follow suit.

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5 thoughts on “South Korea’s LNG Deal Will Deliver Huge Benefits to US

  1. HOW COME CNN DOES NOT REPORT SUCH NEWS! CNN IS STILL FOCUSING ON THE RUSSIAN INTERFERENCE (ALLEGED) IN LAST ELECTION.

    • Look at this way, the more more locations that you have and the more diversified the operations are, the more fractivists Soros has to hire (even if hydraulic fracturing isn’t involved) and hopefully that will drain George’s bank account dry soon enough.

  2. This is an example of how horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing has yielded excess USA fossil fuels [Shale Natural Gas and Oil] exports to enhance our foreign policy negotiations.

    Horizontal drilling and Hydraulic Fracturing has unleashed significant Shale Gas and Oil – available for domestic use and foreign export. The export of USA shale oil and gas affects countries whose alliance USA has pursued e.g. Saudi Arabia and Russia. Using our surplus shale oil and gas as leveraging tools enables USA to negotiate favorable policies with these countries – reducing support for Syria’s current governing regime and funding of Muslim extremists by disapproving Qatar.

    Richard W Goodwin West Palm Beach 7/10/17

  3. Russian Pipeline Though NORTH Korea set to make Imports of Gas, Exports to Asia. South Korea’s President, Moon Jae-in was elected and decided that they would transition away from coal and nuclear energy. Moon Jae-in wants peace with the North.

    Back to the Rajin-Hasan Project
    When a new government is in place in Seoul, the two countries will try to re-launch projects that were working relatively well. These include the Kaesong Industrial Region, tourist trips of South Koreans to Kaesong and Mount Kumgang, cultural exchanges, and activities of public organizations. The measures may pave the road for regular consultations at a higher level.

    Russia can and will need to take advantage of this warming of ties and push for the Rajin-Hasan Logistics Project, which Seoul once showed a lot of enthusiasm for. The advantages of the project are that it is beneficial to all participants and does not fall under UN sanctions.

    In 2016, more than 1.5 million tons of coal were transported through Rajin-Hasan. This is more than in 2015, when Seoul was actively going to participate, and carried out a series of trial shipments of coal for themselves.

    Other trilateral projects
    A South Korean return to the Rajin-Hasan Project could help revive other trilateral projects. These include the connection of the Trans-Siberian Railway with the Trans-Korean Main Line, a gas pipeline from Russia to South Korea through North Korea, and an ‘energy bridge’ on the same route.

    Moon Jae-In, South Korean President is Hostile to USA interests in Region. Source: AFLO/Global Look Press
    Which South Korean presidential candidate best suits Russia?
    It is possible that there will be new ideas for joint implementation. These include the previously voiced idea of building an industrial region on the junction of the borders of Russia, North Korea and China. South Korea could also participate in such a zone.

    The idea of North Korea and South Korea cooperating with the Russian Far East in a trilateral format is also promising. South Korea would provide the investment and North Korea would take care of the cheap labor for agro-industrial complexes in the Russian Far East. Each of the parties has individually expressed interest in a similar project.

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