KNOC plans to build US$1.4 billion oil hub in Ulsan

Korea National Oil Corp. (KNOC) CEO Suh Moonkyu told the Wall Street Journal that the company plans to begin work next year on a KRW1.6 trillion (US$1.4 billion) oil storage and trading hub in Ulsan. He said that the hub will be a "very important project" for the company and Ulsan, a coastal city in southeastern South Korea, which is well-located to receive oil exports from countries, such as Canada and the U.S. "Foreign oil majors and trading companies will surely want to use the hub," Suh said. He added that BP PLC (BP), the Netherlands' Vopak, Russia's Gazprom Neft and Bank of China have expressed interest in investing in the project. According to KNOC, the hub will consist of two terminals, and will have a total storage capacity of 28.4 million barrels, including a 9.9 million-barrel terminal for petroleum products, and an 18.5 million-barrel terminal for crude oil. The storage tanks are to be completed by 2016. KNOC is set to begin commercial operations at an 8.2 million-barrel oil terminal in Yeosu in March, said Suh. KNOC is the biggest partner in this smaller terminal, with a 29% stake. China Aviation Oil Corp. has a 26% stake. SK Energy Co. and GS Caltex Corp., South Korea's two largest refiners, each hold an 11% stake. (September 19, 2012)