Russia, South Korea to build gas pipeline

Russia and South Korea are about to launch construction of a pipeline to deliver Russian gas to the Republic of Korea, South Korean Ambassador to Moscow Chung Tae-ik said in an interview with Russian news agencies.

On May 12, two companies, Russia's Gazprom and South Korea's Kogas, signed an agreement to finish the feasibility study of the project by the end of June and immediately launch into the construction process. "The 4,000-kilometer pipeline will be ready by 2010," reported the ambassador, who said the cost of deliveries had been roughly estimated at 11 billion dollars.

According to his words, Gazprom is the world's biggest gas supplier, while Kogas is the world's biggest gas consumer. "This means that cooperation between the two is of great importance," said Chung Tae-ik. He pointed out that interaction between Gazprom and Kogas implied cooperation in the technical sphere, realization of joint projects, and exchange of information and specialists. South Korea the world's second largest gas importers after Japan-in 2003, gas consumption is expected to amount to 12 million tons. By 2010, it will reach 19 or 20 million tons, the ambassador said.

"We are going to reach this volume of gas consumption at the expense of gas delivered from the Kovytka field outside Irkutsk, after the pipeline is constructed," he explained. "The Republic of Korea pins hopes not only on the Kovytka field but on the Sakhalin field as well." "South Korea is planning to become a stable importer of Russian gas," he added.

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