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S.Korea Set To Win Major Uae Oil Field Deal -Sources

Development deal could come as early as Sunday – source; South Korea Pres Lee Myung-Bak set to visit UAE

March 12, 2011 6:23 by

South Korea is likely to secure a major oil field development contract in the United Arab Emirates as the Asian state pushes to meet its long-term energy needs, sources familiar with the matter said on Saturday.

The contract might be signed as soon as Sunday to coincide with the South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak’s visit to the UAE, the world’s third-largest crude oil exporter.

“For a country without natural energy resources, this deal will secure its long-term oil supplies,” one source said on condition of anonymity.

“There is a possibility that a contract could be signed on Sunday,” said another source.

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) was not immediately available for comment due to the weekend holiday.

“I wouldn’t be surprised to see the cooperation (between UAE and South Korea) growing on multiple levels,” said independent energy consultant Thaddeus Malesa in Dubai. “A lot of Asian countries are focusing on securing stable energy supplies.”

South Korea is the world’s fifth-largest crude oil importer and the UAE is its second-largest supplier after top oil exporter Saudi Arabia.

Ties between the two countries have developed further after the Gulf Arab state in December 2009 awarded a South Korean consortium the contract to build four nuclear power plants worth $20.4 billion.

By Stanley Carvalho and Humeyra Pamuk

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