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The Korea Herald
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THE INVESTOR
July 16, 2024

Economy

Act-Geo founder arrives in Seoul to explain oil find

  • PUBLISHED :June 05, 2024 - 16:40
  • UPDATED :June 05, 2024 - 16:40
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Vitor Abreu, the founder of US-based geoscience consulting firm Act-Geo, answers questions from reporters upon arriving at Incheon International Airport on Wednesday morning. (Yonhap)

Following the recent announcement that South Korea may have discovered up to 14 billion barrels of oil and gas reserves off its southeastern coast, Vitor Abreu, the owner of Act-Geo, the firm responsible for the discovery, arrived in Seoul on Wednesday to elaborate on these findings.

Abreu landed at Incheon Airport earlier in the day to meet with government and industry officials. According to industry sources, he is to hold a press conference in Sejong City on Friday to address questions regarding Act-Geo’s analysis, which suggests the presence of between 3.5 billion to 14 billion barrels of oil and natural gas.

“(The Korean government’s announcement on Monday) raised many questions among the public, so I've come here to discuss with the Korea National Oil Corporation the best approach and provide clear responses about this very, very important project,” said Abreu.

Act-Geo, a company with fewer than 10 employees, has drawn significant attention. KNOC clarified Tuesday that Abreu now only owns the company also serves as an external advisor. With 30 years of experience in deepwater prospect evaluation at ExxonMobil, he led the Stratigraphy Group and contributed to the exploration of the Guyana oil field. He is also a former president of the Society of Sedimentary Geology.

Despite its small size, Act-Geo reportedly operates on a project basis, assembling a team of professionals for each initiative under Abreu's leadership.

In tandem with these discussions, the KNOC has finalized contracts for full-scale drilling operations. Norway’s Seadrill, one of the leading global drilling companies, will spearhead the effort, deploying the drillship West Capella. Purchased from Samsung Heavy Industries in 2008, the West Capella is scheduled to arrive in Busan from Labuan, Malaysia, in mid-November and commence drilling in December.

The drillship contracted cost approximately 57.8 billion won ($42.2 million). Since the KNOC has explained that drilling a single well costs about 100 billion won, 60 percent of this expense is being spent on rig rental alone.

By Moon Joon-hyun (mjh@heraldcorp.com)

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