(EnergyAsia, February 25 2013, Monday) — State utility Korea Gas Corp (Kogas) said it has appointed Samsung Securities Co and Rothschild to advise on the potential sale of its stake in the Gladstone liquefied natural gas (GLNG) project in Australia’s Queensland state.

Kogas is looking to make a profit on the A$665 million that it paid for its 15% stake in the US$18.5 billion project in 2010. (US$1=A$0.96).

Kogas’s plan to exit the project could be of concern to consortium partners Australia’s Santos, Malaysia’s Petronas and France’s Total who, like the country’s other LNG investors, are struggling to contain rising business costs in addition to material and labour shortages. The Santos-operated project to convert coal seam gas to LNG for export to Asia was originally budgeted at US$16 billion.

The consortium is aiming to complete the two-train terminal with a total annual capacity of 7.8-million tons by next year.

Separately, Australia-listed upstream company Blue Energy said it has appointed Kogas executive Maeng Joo Ho to its board, replacing H.B. Lee who returned to South Korea upon completion of his term at Kogas Australia Pty Ltd since 2009. His successor, Mr Maeng, has extensive experience and contacts in the LNG industry, particularly in China, Japan and Australia.

“He also has over 10 years’ experience in the development of the projects such as Donggi Senoro LNG in Indonesia, LNG Canada, Prelude and GLNG at Gladstone,” said Blue Energy.

“ Mr Maeng has been involved from the start of the Prelude and GLNG projects. He has recently been appointed as a director of Kogas Australia, one of the four shareholders in the GLNG project.”

Blue Energy chairman, John Ellice-Flint, who praised Mr Lee’s contribution was managing director of Santos from December 2000 to March 2008.