August 30, 2006 -- Reports from Tashkent and Seoul say South Korea's national oil company, KNOC, has won a 20 percent stake in a consortium to explore and develop a natural gas field in Uzbekistan's southern sector of the Aral Sea.
A production-sharing agreement to that effect was signed in Tashkent today.
Other consortium members include Uzbekistan's state-run Uzbekneftegaz, Malaysia's Petronas, Russia's LUKoil Overseas Holding Ltd., and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC).
AP quotes a statement by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Energy in Seoul as saying this is the first time that South Korea will have taken part in the development of a hydrocarbon field in Uzbekistan.
The statement says production at the Aral Sea site could start as early as 2012. It adds that the deal could provide South Korea with enough natural gas to meet its demand for a year and a half.
(www.press-uz.info, Interfax, AP)
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