South Korea plans to invest US$ 11.8 billion in developing oil and natural gas resources

South Korea plans to invest US$ 11.8 billion in developing oil and natural gas resources next year as part of efforts to secure sufficient energy for economic and industrial growth, the knowledge economy ministry said Wednesday.

The envisioned investment is 34 percent higher than the $ 8.8 billion projected to be spent for the same purpose this year, according to the ministry. It will also be the nation’s largest annual investment in energy projects.

Public enterprises will invest a total of $ 7.8 billion, while private-sector enterprises will spend about $ 4 billion, the ministry said.

South Korea is stepping up efforts to participate in overseas natural resources development projects aimed at securing stable energy supplies.

South Korea is the world’s fifth-largest oil importer and second-largest liquefied natural gas buyer. High crude oil prices, in particular, have been a major concern for policymakers here struggling to tame inflation, which is closely linked to energy prices in overseas markets.

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