Korea takes interest in 40% of Abu Dhabi oil fields

South Korea has signed a multi-billion dollar deal with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) to develop three new oil fields.

The joint venture, under which Korea National Oil Corporation (KNOC) will take a 40 per cent stake with Adnoc retaining 60 per cent, is an attempt by the Asian powerhouse to secure oil resources, the country’s leader said on Monday.

“We now have our own oil reserves in the Middle East,” South Korean President Lee Myung-bak said in a statement. “Through this, stable crude supply to us is more guaranteed, and our energy security taken a big step forward.”

The project involves two onshore and one offshore field that could take several years to produce oil, but is one of the first times that a non-European or American partner has waded into oil exploration and production in the Gulf.

The Korean consortium, made up of KNOC and another firm, GS Energy, is expected to invest $2 billion (Dh7 billion) of the estimated $5 billion total cost of developing the fields, the Korean government said in a statement.