Korea Gas Corp. (036460), the world’s biggest liquefied natural gas importer, gained the most in more than nine years in Seoul trading after its Italian partner found reserves in Mozambique that may exceed those of the U.K.
The shares rose 11 percent to close at 42,950 won on the Korea Exchange today, the steepest increase since Jan. 13, 2003. The stock was the best performer on the MSCI Asia Pacific Index. The benchmark Kospi Index advanced 1 percent.
Eni SpA (ENI), Italy’s largest oil company, said yesterday the find in Mozambique increases the resource base there by 10 trillion cubic feet, taking total discoveries in Area 4 to 40 trillion cubic feet. The U.K. held about 9 trillion cubic feet of gas at the end of 2010, according to BP Plc (BP/)’s Statistical Review of World Energy.
“Total reserves are likely to increase further, with more drilling planned,” Joo Ick-Chan, an analyst with Eugene Investment & Securities Co., wrote in a report today. “Korea Gas shares are undervalued.”
Eni holds 70 percent of the block, while Korea Gas has 10 percent. The value of Korea Gas’s portion of the latest discovery is about 375 billion won ($330 million), according to Joo, who raised his 12-month share-price estimate of the state utility to 74,000 won from 70,000 won.
South Korea, which imports almost all of its oil and natural gas, said in February it plans to increase production at overseas fields to 35 percent of imports by 2020 to bolster energy security.
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