The paper "Framing Energy Security between Russia and South Korea by She Hyun Ahn" is an outstanding example of an article on politics. For several years, South Korea and Russia have been involved in fuel and energy projects having Russia as the producer and South Korea, the consumer and distributor. One of the biggest projects was the Kovykta PNG project which started in December 1997. The original plan was to build pipelines and deliver natural gas from Eastern Siberia to the participating countries: Japan, China, Mongolia, and South Korea who proposed North Korea to be also part of the project.
Although this has been a very promising project, the hopes of providing one-third of South Korea’ s annual fuel demand in 30 years was suspended. This was because of the new nationalist views that Russia should prioritize Russian consumers and protect its natural resources. The Kovykta project with South Korea was discontinued (Ahn 593). The Sakhalin gas project has been the first successful energy project between Russia and South Korea. Sakhalin has produced 60M barrels of oil that were exported to seven countries. In a signed contract, Sakhalin Energy has agreed to provide 1.5 metric tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to South Korea.
It is now the closest source of LNG, taking only two to three days for delivery. Because of the good quality of Sakhalin’ s crude oil, South Korea has also been importing this for the production of diesel and kerosene (595). Other projects between South Korea and Russia included: (i) a $38B project between LG (South Korea) and Tafnet (Russia) to construct an oil refinery in Tatarstan; (ii) a $50M deal by Vneshtong bank to finance acquisition of Korean equipment by Russian companies, and; (iii) a $250M agreement between Rosnef and Korea for the exploration of West Kamchatka and Sakhalin Island for oil reserves (595). Despite these projects and agreements, bilateral energy security between the two nations is still being stagnant of the lack of government policies regarding the energy market infrastructure.
For example, projects located in the trans-border will not materialize if the states around the border will not cooperate. Also, there is a lack of mutual trust between the two countries.
South Korea has a few energy specialists that are capable of solving government-related issues. Thus, the Korean policymakers had only been occupied with short-term projects instead of eyeing for longer terms. South Korean investors were also doubtful in investing in Russia’ s fuel supply because the other side had failed to provide legal and infrastructural evidence to attract investors (603). Providing gas and oil to South Korea would promote growth to Russia’ s economy. On the other hand, Russia’ s resources would provide answers to South Korea’ s energy shortage. However, in order to create a functional oil and gas pipeline, a multilateral instead of bilateral energy cooperation project should take place between Japan, China, Korea and Russia (606). Discussion Questions: 1.
Why was the Kovykta project discontinued? 2. What project was the most successful between South Korea and Russia? 3. What are the other deals signed between South Korea and Russia? 4. What are the problems of a bilateral energy cooperation project? 5. How can a gas and oil pipeline be a plausible system?