South Korean oil firm buys Canada’s Harvest Energy

October 23rd, 2009 - 11:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Seoul, Oct 23 (IANS) South Korean state-run oil company Korea National Oil Corp (KNOC) has bought Canada’s Harvest Energy company at a cost of $3.95 billion, WAM news agency reported.
The move will boost South Korea’s total oil and gas reserves from the current 2.80 billion barrels to about 3.02 billion barrels.

The Calgary-based Harvest Energy currently produces 53,400 barrels of crude and gas per day. Currently, the KNOC owned oil and gas fields produce about 188,000 barrels per day. The latest deal raises that figure to 241,400 barrels.

Harvest has stakes in oil fields, coal beds, methane and oil sand deposits, with operational fields in the provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia.

The acquisition is also expected to push up South Korea’s self-sufficiency in oil and gas to 8.1 percent of the total domestic demand from the current 6.3 percent. Seoul originally wanted to push up self-sufficiency levels to 7.4 percent by year’s end.

“The purchase is significant since it not only improves self-sufficiency but gives KNOC a firm foothold in North America that can help pave the way for further mergers and acquisitions down the road,” Kim Jung-gwan, South Korea’s deputy energy minister said Thursday.

Most of the oil developed there will be sold in the local market, although this can be shipped to South Korea in case of an emergency, he added.

Seoul is pushing to transform the national oil company into a more significant player in the global market and has pledged to inject 4.1 trillion won (about $3 billion) by 2012 to increase its output capabilities by buying foreign oil companies and investing in oil and gas fields.

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