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home > Operations> E & P worldwide> ASIA AND OCEANIA > Korea
Korea
 
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Korea is surrounded by the Yellow Sea, the East Sea, and the South Sea with extensive continental shelves of 300,000 ㎢ which have the potential for oil and gas exploration. Western oil companies such as Gulf, Shell, and Koam Corporation explored oil and gas in shallow waters in 1970s and 1780s. Since KNOC had been established in 1979, it began working on the shelves continuously and has acquired 116,549 L-㎞ of 2D seismic data and 7,519 ㎢ of 3D seismic data and has drilled 47 wells so far.


In 1998, KNOC discovered a commercially viable gas field in Block 6-1 in the East Sea. The field, which was named Donghae-1, is about 60 ㎞ away from Ulsan in the southern region of Korea. Donghae-1 gas field was on stream in 2004 and has produced gas and condensate so far. In 2014, KNOC initiated Donghae-2 gas project to develop a near field discovery with a single producer which was successfully subsea tie-backed to Donghae-1 platform in 2016.


Korean government has divided the offshore area into 12 blocks(excluding JDZ) and some blocks are currently authorized for licensees to explore. A list of blocks and their status are shown in following table.

 
Block Area Status
1 34,470 Open
1-2 414 Open
1-3 422 Open
2 39,446 Open
2-2 423 Open
3 41,620 Open
4 43,195 Open
5 44,529 Open
Southern area is included in JDZ
6-1 12,917 6-1C : KNOC
6-1E : KNOC
6-1N : KNOC & Woodside
6-1S : Open
6-2 11,939 Open
Southern area is included in JDZ
7 69,662 Most area is included in JDZ
8 8,481 KNOC & Woodside
JDZ 82,557 Subzone 1,3,5,6 : Open
Subzone 2,4 : KNOC

A large portion of the surrounding continental shelves consisting of Ulleung, Jeju and Yellow Sea basin has yet to be explored.


 

Ulleung basin

Located in the East Sea between Korea and Japan, the Ulleung Basin has 10 kilometer thick clastic sediments in its southwestern margin where the Donghae-1 gas field was discovered. The basin consists of two exploration blocks, 6-1 in the south and 8 in the north, which are 12,917 ㎢ and 8,481 ㎢, respectively.


Block 6-1 was first explored by Royal Dutch Shell Oil in 1971. The company drilled a first exploratory well in offshore of Korea, although not tested, encountered a number of gas shows. KNOC has paid attention to Block 6-1 after 1983. Since then, it has conducted numerous seismic surveys and 24 wells drilling campaigns. These efforts resulted in thirteen minor discoveries of gas and two major discoveries of economically producible gas reserves in 1998, 2005 as described above(see Donghae-1, Donghae-2 section below for further information).


Currently, there are 2 active licenses in the Ulleung basin.

 
Name License Area(㎢) Stake Operator
8/6-1N Concession 12,560 Woodside
KNOC
50%
50%
Woodside
6-1C&E Concession 4,002 KNOC 100% KNOC

KNOC and Woodside Energy Limited which hold a 50% working interest, respectively signed the concession contract with Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy(MOTIE) to explore deepwater blocks, Block 6-1 North and Block 8, in February 2007. During 10 years contracting period, two exploration wells, Jujak-1 and Hongge-1 were drilled in 2012 and 2015, respectively and confirmed the presence of gas in deepwater region. KNOC and Woodside started to explore same area again in April, 2019 with a new concession contract and acquired new 3D seismic data to figure out potential for an additional exploratory well in the area.


KNOC has entered new concession agreement with MOTIE in Block 6-1 C&E early 2020 and is focusing on deep water potential in the area. The first exploratory well drilling of the project was just finished and followed by a post well evaluation. Also another seismic data acquisition work is planned to define other drillable prospects in the adjacent deepwater area.


 

Jeju Basin

The Jeju Basin where Block 4, 5, 6-2 and 7 are set is a tertiary basin located among Korea, Japan, and China. The young sedimentary area is defined by a series of NE-SW trending half-grabens with the highs separating the Socotra subbasin from the Domi subbasin. The Socotra subbasin spans the southern part of Block 4 and the Domi basin lies in Block 6-2. The southern boundary of the Jeju Basin meets the northern boundary of the Joint Development Zone (JDZ) between Korea and Japan.


Western oil companies, including Gulf, Texaco, and Shell began exploration in blocks 4, 5, and 6-2 in early 1970s. They obtained 12,781 L-㎞ of 2D seismic data and drilled one exploratory well in Block 4. In Block 5, 2D data of 11,995 L-㎞ was acquired and four wells were drilled, and in Block 6-2, 2D data of 12,786 L-㎞ was gathered and three wells were drilled. Through these activities, they discovered several oil and gas shows.


JDZ(Joint Development Zone) was set in 1978 based on the agreement between Korean and Japanese governments for 50 years period. The JDZ has been less explored compared to other blocks due to the nature of the joint development, that allows only Korea-Japan joint activities in the area. So far 19,571 L-㎞ of 2D seismic data and 563 ㎢ of 3D seismic data obtained in the area and seven exploratory wells drilled. Three of them resulted in oil and gas shows.


Early 2020, KNOC has entered new concession agreement with Korean government and been waiting for Japanese licensee to be designated for further exploration.

 
Jeju Basin
Name License Area(㎢) Licensee Operator
Korea Japan
JDZ
(Subzone2,4)
Concession 26,014 KNOC - -

 

Yellow Sea Basin

The Yellow Sea Basin is composed of Kunsan and Heusan basin which are dissected by basement highs and has mainly three exploration blocks, 1, 2, and 3 with three satellite blocks, 1-2, 1-3, 2-2. The exploration activities include 35,827 L-km of 2D seismic data, 298 ㎢ of 3D seismic data and 6 exploration wells mostly carried by Texaco, Gulf, Marathon and KNOC before 2000s.


Currently there is no active licence in the basin.

 
Department Contacts Updated
Updated : 2021-09-30 Department : Domestic Business Dept. Contacts : +82)52-216-3125
 

Donghae-1, Donghae-2 Gas Field

Block Field Operator Year of Participation KNOC’s Share (%)
6-1 Donghae-1 KNOC Aug. 1997 100
6-1 Donghae-2 KNOC Sep. 2011 70

 

History

KNOC successfully performed an exploratory drilling in the Gorae 5 prospect located in the middle of Block 6-1 in July 1998. This was followed by a feasibility study for development and three appraisal drillings until 1999. Based on the results of the study, development of the Donghae-1 gas field began in June 2001 with an exploitation permit from the Korea government. Construction of production facilities took two years from March 15, 2002 and production began on July 11, 2004. Commercial production started in November.
In 2015, production well drilled to develop Donghae-2 gas field(Gorae-VIII structure) which is located 5.4km southwest from Donghae-1 gas field. After installation of subsea production facilities and pipeline connected to the Donghae platform, KNOC has successfully started up production from Donghae-2 gas field on July 2016.
 
 
Jul. 2016 First gas from the Donghae-2 field 1 production well ‘DH2 1P’
Dec. 2015-Jun. 2016 Donghae-2 production well drilling and production facilities installation
Sep. 2011 Award of concession contract of 6-1C block for Donghae-2 development
Nov. 2009 Start production from the additional gas well ‘DH1 4P’
Jul. 11, 2004 Begin the first gas from Donghae-1 field 3 production wells (DH1 1P/2P/3P)
Dec. 31, 2001 Sign an installment, procurement, and construction agreement
June 2001 Obtain an exploitation permit from the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy
Sept. 2000-Nov. 2001 Build front-end engineering and detailed designs
Feb. 2000-Aug. 2000 Establish a development plan and conduct an environmental impact assessment
 

Business Outline

The Donghae-1 and Donghae-2 gas field contains the late Miocene sandstone reservoirs which are believed to be deformed shallow marine sands sealed with silty shales. Development of the gas field marked a milestone in the history of the company. With Donghae-1 gas field, KNOC became the first oil and gas producer in Korea.


 
 
Daily production
(2020 annual average)
Production period
Donghae-1 4.7 million standard cubic feet 2004-2022
Donghae-2 14.4 million standard cubic feet 2016-2022
 
Buyers : Korea Gas Corporation (natural gas) and S-OiL (condensate)

Facilities

  The production facilities of the Donghae-1 and Donghae-2 gas fields consist of a subsea production control system, an offshore platform, topside facilities, an export pipeline, and onshore processing facilities.
Subsea production control system
  Main subsea equipment has five subsea christmas trees that control gas production; five flowlines that convey gas to the offshore platform; and an umbilical line that supplies power and chemicals such as methanol and monoethylene glycol.
 
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Offshore platform and topside facilities
  Offshore platforms consist of 163 meter high jackets with four legs; three story topside decks with eight files of 72 inches in diameter; and a 152 meter high undersea section. The platform was designed to withstand wind velocity of 50 meters per second and waves of up to 17.5 meters (record breakers in the last 100 years). The facilities are able to endure an earthquake of up to magnitude 6.5 on the Richter scale.
 
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Pipeline
  A gas pipeline runs 68 kilometers from the offshore platform to onshore facilities: 61 kilometers undersea and 7 kilometers above the ground. Gas is then transported to Korea Gas Corporation’s facilities through the 7 kilometer long pipeline.

Onshore processing facilities

  Onshore processing facilities consist of processing facility, electricity equipment, and office areas. The daily maximum processing capacity is 75 million cubic feet.
Operation and management
 

To maintain high standards in health, safety, and the environment (HSE), KNOC established the HSE management system. The system, which was certified with ISO 9001, ISO 14001, etc, was adopted for all of the company’s processes and facilities around the world.


KNOC has made systematic efforts to enhance its operations regarding the Donghae-1 and Donghae-2 gas fields. Policies and procedure established exclusively for the gas field include general policies for Donghae-1 and Donghae-2 gas fields; risk management procedure; onshore emergency response procedure; platform emergency response procedure; Permit to Work system; oil spill contingency plan; change procedure management; and inspection, measurement, and test equipment control procedure.

 

Outlook

Production in the Donghae-1 gas field had Korea join the ranks of oil producing countries. This is significant for the country because it is now able to meet a part of its energy demand with natural gas produced in its own territory.


Through the Donghae-1 and Donghae-2 development project, KNOC accumulated experience and knowhow in all areas from exploration and development to production and distribution. The accumulated intangible assets will ultimately help Korea’s oil and gas industries improve their technologies and raise their competitiveness to the next level.

 
Department Contacts Updated
Updated : 2021-06-30 Department : Domestic Business Dept. Contacts : +82)52-216-3107

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