Global cooperation for the establishment of a Northeast Asian oil hub in Korea, one of the major projects of the new government, has become full-scale.
During the Fifth Asia Energy Minster Conference held on September 12 at the Shilla Hotel in Seoul, Han Jin-hyun, Vice Minister of Trade, Industry & Energy, introduced the Northeast Asian oil hub establishment plan and requested cooperation from all countries. This Northeast Asian oil hub business will build large scale industrial storage facilities in the Ulsan and Yeosu regions, and use them to turn Korea into the center of Northeast Asian oil logistics.
Han said, “As the fifth largest oil importing country, Korea has realized the importance of oil storage after experiencing the past two oil crises,” and added, “We are trying to establish an oil hub in Korea to provide a smooth oil supply to Northeast Asia.”
He mentioned, “Singapore has been serving as an Asian oil hub but recently narrowed down its scope to Southeast Asia,” and added, “Korea is in the best position to become an oil hub for Northeast Asia.” In addition, he explained, “Korea will become a major oil hub following the US, Europe, and Singapore,” and added, “For this, Korea will build an International Petroleum Exchange and and pursue relieving several related regulations.”
Other national representatives participating in the conference generally agreed with the plan, but mentioned the transparency of oil stockpiling should be enforced.
Minister Al-Sada of the Qatar Ministry Of Energy And Industry said, “Decoupling effects with Singapore in Southeast Asian regions is speeding up,” and added, “Korea seems to understand the need for a storage facility very well.” Minister Al Rumhi of the Oman Ministry of Oil & Gas also said, “Reserved oil always comes with abuse issues,” and added, “Transparent data management of reserved oil and facilities is crucial to prevent any abuse.”