ExxonMobil Corp. has secured an agreement with the world's largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) buyer, Korea Gas Corp. (Kogas), and the country's funding arm dedicated to innovative energy research, to collaborate on natural gas technologies.

The focus of the multi-year memorandum of understanding with Kogas and the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning is the "natural gas value chain, including cryogenic materials, hydrogen production and fuel cell utilization, energy efficiency technologies and technologies associated with robotics and automation."

Kogas is involved in natural gas projects -- export and exploration -- across North America. It has a 15% stake in the Royal Dutch Shell plc-led LNG Canada project underway in British Columbia (see Daily GPIJune 18). Kogas also has LNG tolling agreements with, among others, Texas LNG LLC and the Louisiana export terminal by Sabine Pass LLC (see Daily GPI, Jan. 8Sept. 14, 2012). In addition, Kogas and Encana Corp. have a farm-out agreement in the gassy Horn River Shale (see Shale DailyOct. 26, 2012).

ExxonMobil has worked in Korea for more than 40 years and through its ventures supplies about 30% of the country's LNG demand, noted ExxonMobil's Graham Dodds, who is president of the Korea division. The company also markets lubricants and chemical products in Korea.

"This agreement strengthens the links" between the two parties, Dodd said.

The MOU "establishes a framework that allows for information exchange on liquefied natural gas technology, research and development projects and best practices," said Rob Franklin, president of ExxonMobil Gas and Power Marketing. "It will enable professional exchanges that will help expand our joint capabilities."

Sara Ortwein, president of ExxonMobil Upstream Research Co. President Sara Ortwein said technology development is vital to providing energy to help meet global energy needs. "Strong partnerships are key to developing and delivering integrated technology solutions."