Brief: Kogas

Kogas had hoped to buy an extra 10 liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargoes ahead of the peak-demand winter season but is encountering a tight market. Besides annual supplies under term contracts, Kogas has recently been buying more than 30 LNG cargoes a year under spot contracts to meet winter demand. Kogas, the world's single-biggest LNG buyer, is currently South Korea's sole importer and wholesaler of the fuel. Kogas had secured about 20 cargoes in 2005, but needed 5-10 more, a company official said. Hot weather has raised demand in Europe where more LNG was needed to generate electricity to power air conditioners. Korea imports 21.3 million tonnes of LNG every year from Qatar, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Oman and Australia. In November 2005, Kogas also sealed contracts to buy a total of 5 million tonnes of LNG/year from Malaysia, Russia and Yemen for 20 years from 2008.