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“Black Rush” in Sakhalin: For a Dramatic Discovery of Oil and Natural Gas

The "black rush" for crude oil, which reminds us of the "gold rush" in the 19th century west, is now taking place in Sakhalin, Russia.

About 30 percent of Russian oil and natural gas have been reported to be buried under Sakhalin: 2.7 billion barrels of oil in 11 oil fields, 1.261 trillion square meters of natural gas in 18 gas fields and 2.5 billion tons of coal in 52 mines as confirmed until recently, according to the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA)'s office in Vladivostok, Russia. Such quantity of oil and natural gas can satiate demand of South Korea for three years and sixty years, respectively.

Skyrocketing oil prices since 2000 have triggered global companies to dive into the oil and natural gas fields in Sakhalin. The so-called "black rush" was initiated by Exxon Mobil which started digging up 100,000 tons of oil a day in the Sakhalin Oil Field 1 in 2005. For discovery of the "black gold," not only major global oil companies such as Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell and BP, but also government officials from countries around the globe including China, India, Japan and Turkey are paying frequent visits to Sakhalin.

The Korea National Oil Corporation is also set to deliver annual 1.5 million tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Sakhalin back home starting from next year. It is the first time for Korean natural gas consumers to meet natural gas from Sakhalin.

Daewoo Engineering & Construction which is currently building LNG condensing facilities in Sakhalin and Poonglim in charge of laying underground pipelines in the region are other Korean players among the active participants in blooming oil & natural gas explorations in Sakhalin.

? Maeil Business Newspaper

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