South Korea’s shift to LNG hopes to narrow US trade gap
Washington’s pressure to renegotiate trade deal comes as Seoul sours on nuclear, coal
Global supplies of liquefied natural gas are set to expand by nearly 50% between 2015 and 2020, and South Korea has emerged as a possible buyer.
The Financial Times reports that South Korea, the world’s fifth-largest thermal coal importer and the nation with the sixth-largest number of nuclear reactors, is shifting its energy policy as left-leaning president Moon Jae-in hopes to move away from coal and nuclear power.
The move could portend greater dependence on LNG, with imports of US shale gas a supply that could help put a dent in South Korea’s trade surplus with the US.
“From a country which looked like gas demand would drop because of the focus on coal and nuclear, we’re now preparing for an increase in coming years,” Trevor Sikorski, analyst at Energy Aspects was quoted by the FT as saying.
“We are seeing a dramatic change in strategy. There has been a big question over when the market would tighten between 2020 and 2030. The change in policy in Korea brings the date forward.”