Oil has been the dominant energy source in Korea, accounting for roughly 40% of the country’s total primary energy supply (TPES) in 2008. The share of natural gas in the country’s TPES steadily increased from 3% in 1990 to 9% in 2000 and 14 % in 2008. In 2010, the IEA forecasted that the share of oil in the TPES will gradually decrease from 40% in 2008 to 35% in 2020 and 31% in 2035, while the share of natural gas will remain flat.
Korea has very little indigenous oil production, which averaged at 21 kb/d in 2010. Korea’s oil demand increased from 2.14 mb/d in 2000 to 2.25 mb/d in 2010, with an annual average growth rate of 0.5%. Korea is a big consumer of naphtha mainly for the petrochemical industry. Korea’s oil imports in 2010 were 3.14 mb/d, consisting of 2.37 mb/d of crude oil. Korea is highly dependent on the Middle East, which accounted for some 82% of the total crude oil imports in 2010. Korea exported 919 kb/d of oil products in 2010. One-third of the product exports went to the OECD (mainly to US and Japan), while the remainder was destined for non-OECD countries, such as China, Singapore and Indonesia. Korea is a net exporter of oil products.