North Korea has an estimated reserve of 155 million tons (12 million barrels) in offshore oil fields in its Western sea area, a south Korean monthly magazine reported.
North Korea has five oil deposit zones in the Western sea, 150 km
off the Nampo seashore, South Pyongan Province, it said.
The monthly Shin Dong-A quoted a Korean-American expert as saying,
It has five zones in the area; 65 million tons in the first zone,
50 million tons in the second zone, 30 million tons in the third zone,
a small amount of oil in the fourth zone, and 10 million tons in the
In its December issue, Shin Dong-A interviews Dr. Pak (tentative name), who earned his Ph.D in nuclear physics at MIT, on condition of anonymity, revealed that north Korea is giving priority to developing the field in the third zone (30 million-ton class).
You will find five offshore rigs in the area. The north Koreans
have its own oil rigs. I estimate that if we develop this area, the
north Koreans will have a capacity to produce oil on its own,
Dr. Pak said.
According to south Korea’s vernacular monthly magazine, Dr. Pak who visited the north twice in 1994 and 1995, said that north Korea has six other oil fields such as the Pyongyang Basin, Onchon Basin (Nampo), Anju Basin (South Pyongan Province), East Sea Basin, Kyongson Bay Basin (Chonjin), and the Kilju Basin (North Hamgyong Province). (NOTE: The data differ from the DPRK government’s report. The Ministry of Petroleum Industry concluded in its recent survey that there are eight oil-bearing basins in the DPRK. -- Ed.)
After a preliminary investigation to oil reserves in Hwangju and Jaeryong in North Hwanghe Province, the Wonsan and Tumen River area in 1994, he started a more detailed investigative research in the West Sea Basin in 1995.
A continental self structure in this area is extended more widely
to China (it is 20-50 km away from the sea border line between China
and the DPRK). The structure toward China area covers two-third or
three-fourth of the area... Therefore, a bed of crude petroleum is
concentrated in the West Sea Basin. It’s a major class
oil-bearing basin, he said.
His remarks endorsed the fact that the DPRK had got a gush of 450 barrels of petroleum at one of the test drilling rigs in the seabed of Nampo last June. He pointed out that it was the third zone.
The importance of the DPRK’s oil project was stressed at the 9th Session of the 7th Supreme People’s Assembly in 1994 which decided to substantially increase investments in the oil industry and modernize research equipment.
Dr. Pak said in the interview that he made a contract with the north Korean government with regard to the first and second zones in 1995.
Only if north Korea develops these zones, the north can get enough
ability to recover its economy, he added.
The magazine reported that a contract was signed between Tongsong Technical Company which is affiliated with the Ministry of Petroleum Industry of the DPRK and Asahi Network which is China-based company established by Dr. Pak.
It also pointed out that he is one of the figures most close to Ms. Pak Kyong Yun, president of the Kumgangsan International Group, USA, who planned a Kumgansan tour in north Korea as a joint venture with the DPRK.
Last summer, the DPRK conducted an elastic wave survey in the West Sea in cooperation with Taurus Petroleum of Sweden and in the East Sea with Beach Petroleum of Australia, respectively.
Dr. Pak, however, conducted his own unique survey, using his own developed research equipment, different from a conventional oil field survey, called the Microlepton Survey Method.
According to him, this method uses a 3-D computer modeling system which requires detailed data gathering of a prospective area from two different points. He first produces a solid modeling, conducting data gathering on the ground one time, and from the air the other time. Based on the solid modeling he calculates the place and scale of an oil bed correctly.
More precisely, he said, he calculates a spot after a censor detects a particle of oil, by using the Global Positioning System (GPS). Based on the data, he calculates an accurate place of oil resources and finds out oil materials using particle physics theory.
Shin Dong-A reported that his unique survey technology was also approved by the Chinese government when he conducted an oil field survey in the past two years.
My method detects an oil field 100%, although the Chinese
government rated it at 95%, Dr. Pak said.
Regarding the investment cost for the DPRK’s oil development, he pointed out that more than US$ 200 million will be needed from a model (preliminary) investment to equipment investment. At first, it will take US$ 50 million for a model investment, he added.
It will take five years to complete related facilities after the start of the model investment.